Who Was At-Fault in the Self-Driving Uber Accident?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Are self-driving cars safer than human drivers?

An accident involving a Honda CRV and an Uber vehicle in self-driving mode has garnered national attention.  Multiple accounts concerning the troubling Arizona accident have led to some dispute as to precisely who was at-fault for the collision.  In an era where an increasing number of vehicles are now equipped with autonomous technologies, the Arizona accident raises questions as to the safety of self-driving cars and whether these vehicles are safer than human drivers.  Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers discuss the facts of this recent Uber accident, as well as the safety of autonomous vehicles below.

Examining the Arizona Self-Driving Uber Crash

According to accident reports released by the city of Tempe, the collision in question happened when the driver of a Honda CRV made a left turn across three lanes of traffic.  The female driver made a left-hand turn while the traffic signal was green.  She could see the first two rows of traffic, which were stopped, and as far as she could tell the third lane was clear.  However, as she crossed that third lane, she struck an Uber vehicle traveling in self-driving mode.  The vehicle was going under the speed limit and did not have time to react to avoid the collision.

Police cited the driver of the CRV for failing to yield the right of way.  A few witnesses, however, gave differing accounts of the accident, which would place some degree of responsibility on the Uber vehicle.  At least two witnesses report that the Uber vehicle sped up in an attempt to make it through the light before it turned red. Uber has disputed this statement.

The Safety of Self-Driving Vehicles

While this recent Uber self-driving vehicle crash has some people questioning the safety of autonomous vehicles, statistics speak to the overwhelming safety of these vehicles.  Human error is the number one cause of car accidents.  By eliminating the human factor from driving, autonomous vehicles eliminate dangerous driving behaviors such as distracted driving, drunk driving, and even speeding.  Self-driving vehicles have only been in a handful of crashes since their inception, and overall drivers should rest assured that properly tested and functioning autonomous vehicles are safe.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.