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Second Tesla Crash Casts More Doubts on Driverless Cars

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Second Tesla Crash Casts More Doubts on Driverless Cars

The second crash of a Tesla car that had its autopilot feature activated raises new fears about the safety of self-driving cars.

Tesla has admitted that a car that crashed on Sunday had its autopilot feature activated, the BBC reported.

"This vehicle was being driven along an undivided mountain road shortly after midnight with autosteer enabled," a Tesla spokeswoman told the BBC.

Just weeks ago a Tesla car crashed in Florida when it hit a truck, killing the driver. It was the first fatality linked to a self-driving car.

Tesla cars have crashed with the autopilot operational

The electric carmaker claims the autopilot function was not being used correctly at the time of the recent crash.

The latest crash occurred near Cardwell in Montana. A Model X hit wooden rails by a two-lane road. The driver survived the wreck. A third wreck was reported in Pennsylvania. Tesla has, however, refuted the claims of a driver that the autopilot function was on.

Tesla Chief executive Elon Musk stressed the company has no plans to disable the autopilot in the wake of the latest crash.

He told the Wall Street Journal the company will be publishing a blog highlighting how drivers should use the autopilot technology.

I’m not convinced publishing a blog will help Tesla drivers much. Self-driving technology needs to be very straightforward to use and should not be endangering drivers and passengers because it’s not obvious how to operate it.

The New York Times reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a detailed set of questions to Tesla about its cars in the wake of the recent crashes.

The self-driving feature is installed in about 70,000 vehicles that are on the road.  Tesla has claimed that people using its autopilot are statistically safer than those who are not.

It’s alarming to me that self-driving technology is already experiencing these problems. Before the fatal crash in Florida, the technology failed to see a truck ahead of the car.

If a self-driving car is involved in a crash that involves a failure of the technology those who are injured or the next-of-kin of those who lose their lives would likely have grounds to file a lawsuit against a manufacturer.

In a recent blog, I expressed my doubts about whether driverless cars will ever take off in America. The concept cedes control away from the driver. The recent crashes of Tesla cars have made me increasingly skeptical.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers we help dozens of people who have been hurt in car wrecks every month. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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