First Fatality Highlights Concerns of Self-Driving Vehicles

Last week, the first fatal pedestrian crash involving a self-driving SUV occurred in Arizona. That crash involved a self-driving Uber SUV and has been reported to possibly have far-reaching consequences for the new technology as automakers and other companies race to be the first with cars that operate on their own.

The crash occurred on March 18th in Tempe, AZ when a pedestrian was struck by a Volvo that was in self-driving mode with a human back up driver at the wheel. The vehicle was part of Uber’s self-driving test vehicles. Police identified the pedestrian killed as 49 year old Elaine Herzberg. Uber immediately suspended all road testing of the self-driving vehicles.

Many in the industry and legal community had been dreading a fatal crash, but most knew it was inevitable.

“Although self-driving vehicles are being touted for their safety and as being the technology of the future, they are far from perfect at this time,” said Zach Campbell, an attorney at Metzger Wickersham.

Crashes like these unfortunately hurt the technology’s public image. Although the budding industry is becoming more prominent, many states lack any regulation regarding self-driving vehicles. This could change as news of crashes like the unfortunate pedestrian death in Arizona become more mainstream.

Still, many people believe self-driving vehicles will ultimately make our roadways safe. Anything to reduce the approximate 40,000 nationwide traffic deaths and 6,000 yearly pedestrian deaths is a step in the right direction.

Self-driving vehicles can greatly reduce distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving. Close to 95% of all crashes are the result of driver error according to government reports. Reducing this by even half would be a tremendous accomplishment and prove the upside of completely autonomous vehicles.

However, the self-driving vehicles as designed in their current state still have limitations. These can play a major role in contributing to crashes. Also, the automotive industry needs to take steps to ensure safety precautions remain in place even if one the of the self-driving systems fail.

Here at Metzger Wickersham, we will continue to monitor the safety and developments of self-driving vehicles to further protect our roadways.

    I would recommend these people to anyone.

    “The lawyers at this office and their staff, Mr. [Attorney] DeVere and [Paralegal] Stephanie, his assistant, became the voice I didn’t have after the accident. They were my points of light.”

    - Ms. D. Lopez
    I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone.

    “You guys were so easy to work with. There was no stress and the whole process was done in a timely manner. I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone. Such a pleasure.”

    - Sharon Balent
    You guys are absolutely amazing and that’s an understatement.

    “Attorney Painter was simply amazing...My wife had been fighting SSI for over three years. Since working with Metzger Wickersham her stress and anxiety levels were 100% gone.”

    - Carlos Bonilla
    Outstanding in every way

    “Outstanding in every way no one has ever helped me more in my entire life like this firm. I highly recommend. Thank you very much.”

    - Gary Klinger
    Absolutely wonderful!

    “They helped me with my case on a motor vehicle accident. They were kind, understanding, professional, and got the job done. They explained things, talked me through stuff, and answered any questions I had!”

    - Ms. Brianna Marquis
    Thank you for going that extra mile.

    “I wanted to thank Valerie for all her hard work and going that extra mile for me! I was denied twice, Valerie appealed my case to the Appeals court. Thanks to Valerie, my case was finally won after ...”

    - Joanne Brenizer
    They made everything stress free.

    “They handle everything from the day you call, strongly recommend this office in particular. They made everything stress free and worked hard to get me what I deserved.”

    - Alexia Brodbeck
    I have nothing but good things to say!

    “Everyone here was very helpful and worked very hard. I have nothing but good things to say about Metzger Wickersham. Also I did want to mention that Andrea and Brad were amazing.”

    - Thomas Claytor
    They were always on top of things.

    “I was in a car accident last year, and contacted them after asking friends for recommendations. The entire experience was emotional and traumatizing, but they were always on top of things and were ...”

    - Jessica P.
    Absolutely the best!

    “They are absolutely the best! They care and are truly experts! Highly recommend!”

    - Cheryl Ressler

Let Us Fight For You

Request a Free Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.