Screenshot of my FB Feed

In what is possibly the 1st ever fatal crash involving a self driving Uber, the police are routinely keeping everything close to the vest. There is video evidence in the case but it can’t be released yet “due to the ongoing investigation.” This crash involves a pedestrian and a bicycle and is landmark as there are no other precedents that I am aware of in the United States that have yet to involve a self driving car and a fatal outcome, let alone with a cyclist or a pedestrian. I came across this story in my Facebook feed from channel 12 news and was instantly struck by it!

In this case the cyclist, Elaine Herzberg, was walking her bike across the street and was not in a crosswalk. The news article described the crash as happening with a cyclist. While she was with her bike, on a technical note she was walking her bike across the street which makes her a pedestrian at the moment of the fatal collision. However, the technicalities of this designation shouldn’t overshadow some of major concerns or issues with self driving cars.

The live press conference video as posted by Channel 12 News is embedded below. My initial feel from the press conference by the Tempe Police department was that they are quick to point out that she was not in a cross walk and then immediately asked for everyone to please use the cross walks. Of course it is a good thing to use cross walks, but it is sad as to how predictable their opinion may be. I believe they will most certainly try to pin some portion of the accident on this poor victim simply because she was not in a cross walk and almost ignore entirely the fact that neither the self driving car nor the operator behind the wheel even saw the cyclist. I’m eager to wait it out and see all the facts like everyone else – yet this prediction is something I am comfortably making in light of the years of experience dealing with cycling and pedestrian accidents in Arizona as a personal injury attorney. After all, cyclists are not everyone’s favorite road users here in Arizona.

Preliminary reports confirm that the driver was in fact behind the wheel of the car but that the car was in autonomous mode, i.e. self driving mode. Obviously this begs the question as to why didn’t the vehicle operator see the cyclist? And or take control of the vehicle to prevent the fatal bicycle crash? I have not yet personally sat behind the wheel of a self driving car, but I presume the driver most likely could have slammed on the brakes and somehow terminated self driving mode to prevent this unfortunate death. Also, what about the functionality of teh Self driving Uber… doesn’t it have some sort of system and safety protocol in place to stop when an obstruction is in front of it? Does that only apply to a large vehicle made of fiberglass and steel and not a bicycle or pedestrian? Self driving or not, it is another example of cyclists and pedestrians are getting hit and killed due to negligent driving.

As of now, reports have confirmed that Uber has temporarily suspended all self driving programs in the U.S. in light of this bicycle crash.

We hope and pray for the friends and family of Elaine Herzberg that they have some peace through this process. Our hearts are broken for them.

Stay safe out there everyone!

-Ben Dodge

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Bicycle crash and bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge

Ben Dodge, Esq. Ultra Cyclist

Ben Dodge – Bicycle Lawyer

A bicycle crash is not always an accident. If you, or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle crash or accident caused by a road hazard or dangerous road condition, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben Dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States. Ben also founded Bike Accident Attorneys Network, a national network of attorneys who focus on representing cyclists. He can find you help anywhere in the country.

Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire United States. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the world. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. Having competed in 8 Ironman triathlons, numerous local and national cycling races, and a successful finish in the Race Across the West 2016, he really knows what it’s like to ride and race a bike. Ben is competing in the first ever Race Across France – 2018. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.

Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.

A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free

In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the United States every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
  • the applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • your rights as a cyclist, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • the process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
  • the value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.

You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.

Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, the Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at ben@bikeaccidentattorneys.com

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and has founded a national network of independent bicycle lawyers that can assist in representation in all 50 states.

 

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