Published on: Sunday night, a self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, on North Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. It appears to be the first time a self-driving car has killed a human being by force of impact. The car was traveling at 38 miles per hour.

An initial investigation by Tempe police indicated that the pedestrian might have been at fault. According to that report, Herzberg appears to have come “from the shadows,” stepping off the median into the roadway, and ending up in the path of the car while jaywalking across the street. The National Transportation Safety Board has also opened an investigation.

Likewise, it’s difficult to evaluate what this accident means for the future of autonomous cars. Crashes, injuries, and fatalities were a certainty as driverless vehicles began moving from experiment to reality.

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bigstock-183366073-1024x683When a driver is involved in car accidents, after seeking any necessary medical attention, it is natural to start thinking about the costs that are going to be associated with the accident if there are any injuries or property damage involved. When the negligent driver involved is driving a company car, it is possible the driver’s employer may be responsible for the driver’s actions.

Under the tort doctrine of respondeat superior, an employer is responsible for the actions of an employee that are done in the performance of the employee’s employment duties. This means that if an employee is driving a company car, and is negligent in its operation thereby causing an accident, the employer is considered equally liable, and can be sued to seek compensation for injuries sustained in car accidents.

When determining whether or not an employer is liable for the employee’s actions, a judge or jury looks to whether the employee was within the scope of his or her employment duties, or if the employee was performing a special errand for the employer when the accident occurred. Just because an employee is driving a company car does not mean employer liability is automatic. If the employee was supposed to be driving to a specific place and instructed to return to headquarters, but instead deviated in the opposite direction at which point the accident happened, the employer might not be found liable. If the employer is not receiving a benefit from the trip, it is not likely that liability will be shifted to the employer. Additionally, if an employee is on the way to or from work, or on a lunch break, the employer is not likely to be liable under respondeat superior.

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Uber-Kills-SAN FRANCISCO — A woman in Tempe, Ariz., has died after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber, in what appears to be the first known death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle on a public road.

The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel when it struck the woman, who was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, the Tempe police said in a statement.

The incident happened on Sunday around 10 p.m.

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texting-drivingTexting while driving now kills more teenagers than driving while intoxicated. Over 10,000 teens died in 2017 while they tried to send a text message when they were behind the wheel of a car. Approximately 2,700 teenagers died as the result of driving while intoxicated.

The Centers for Disease Control recently conducted a study, in which almost half of teenagers admitted to texting while driving.

Teens who admitted to sending and receiving text messages while behind the wheel also reported engaging in other risky behaviors as well. This includes driving under the influence of alcohol. Teenagers who texted while driving were five times more likely than others to drive after drinking. Young people engaging in the risky behavior were also found to be more likely to not wear seat belts.

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The TSA expects an estimated 65 – 70 million travelers this Spring Break. The week-long escape from school and work has become a tradition for some, and almost a rite of passage for college students. It’s no surprise that as the number of spring breakers rise, so do the numbers of injuries and arrests. While the worst most may suffer on Spring Break is a sunburn and a hangover, for others the damage can be far more severe.

The death toll in traffic accidents at spring break destinations spikes 9.1% higher among drivers under 25. The CDC also warns that someone is killed every 31 minutes in a drunk driving accident during normal times; during spring break, those numbers increase by as much as 23%. Binge drinking and Spring Break, unfortunately, seem to go hand-in-hand. A study by the American College of Health reports the average male will consume 18 drinks a day and the average female 10 drinks during this vacation. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, during Spring Break 11% drink to the point of blacking out or passing out. Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

A new study by researchers at the University of Miami found car-crash fatalities increase significantly at popular spring break destinations during the spring break season, from the end of February through early April .

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bigstock-Close-up-of-a-bicycling-helmet-224466319-1024x684Every year, hundreds of bicyclists die in traffic accidents involving motor vehicles, and thousands more are injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Bicycling advocates say drivers can play a big role in reducing those grim statistics, paving the way for peaceful coexistence. It’s a two-way street, of course. Bicyclists have responsibilities, too.

For you drivers, here are our 10 rules of the road for driving near bicyclists.

1. Appreciate Bicyclist Vulnerability

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bigstock-Two-Car-Crash-1522381-300x240Most drivers believe they can make it by with just the minimum required coverage. When you only purchase the minimum required insurance coverage to avoid a traffic violation, you and your family are exposed to potentially devastating financial hardships resulting from an accident.

Most minimum coverage plans leave out some of the most important aspects of insurance coverage, primarily Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist (UM), and Under-Insured Motorist (UIM). Auto Insurance is designed to protect you and your family in the event of an accident – not just avoid a ticket in a traffic stop.

Why You Need UM/UIM & PIP Insurance Coverage

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Car Wreck - Reyes Browne Reilley
Driving the company car has its perks. You don’t have to pay for gas out of your own pocket. You don’t need to worry about putting miles or wear and tear on your own car. But what happens if you have a car wreck in a company-owned vehicle? Whether it’s a fender bender or a major collision, who pays for it? You? Your employer’s insurance? Can the employer be sued?

The question will turn on whether or not the employee was acting in the scope of his or her employment duties during the time of the car wreck.

When Does Employer Liability Arise?

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should-undocumented-immigrants-be-issued-drivers-licenses_21899401-200x299The Federal REAL ID Act requires localities verify the “lawful status” of people who are issued a driver’s license or ID card in the US. Several states, including California, Illinois, and Maryland are legalizing, or have legalized, a sort of second-class driver’s license for people who cannot prove legal residency in the U.S. This license certifies drivers but can’t be used for federal purposes like social security applications, or any public benefits. The decision to issue such licenses has been politically contentious from both sides of the immigration reform debate – with immigration rights groups concerned about it being used as an aid in racial profiling, and social conservatives worried about it granting any level of legitimacy to illegal immigrants.

Irrespective of political leanings, issuing some form of driver certification to people who would otherwise be driving without any documentation has some major practical advantages for American citizens, such as, the following:

Training For All Drivers

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