There are many unique obstacles that face motorcyclists. In addition to their decreased visibility because of their size, they also have fewer physical barriers to protect them from injuries, often causing serious injuries when motorcycle accidents occur. Recently, these obstacles came face-to-face with new and developing technology when a cyclist in California claims that he was struck by a self-driving vehicle.
The incident happened in early December and involved a Chevy Cobalt that was driving autonomously at the time with a backup driver. In court papers, the injured motorcyclist claims that the vehicle attempted to change lanes. When the vehicle exited the lane, he claims he went to pass it. However, he asserts that the vehicle then veered back into the first lane, striking him and causing him to fall to the ground.
General Motors provides a different version of events, claiming the accident was actually the motorcyclist’s fault. Although police cited the motorcyclist, a representative for the man claims that police reports actually support his version of events. The motorcyclist claims that he suffered shoulder and neck injuries, requiring him to go on disability leave.
As car manufacturers get more aggressive about making strides toward self-driving vehicles, very interesting — and potentially complicated — legal questions could be raised regarding fault in the event of an accident. Often, an injured victim in California may be unaware of his or her options. Fortunately, an attorney with an understanding of the causes and consequences of motorcycle accidents such as this can help those injured fully understand their rights.
Source: siliconvalley.com, “Self-driving car crash with motorcycle in San Francisco spurs lawsuit, raises questions“, Ethan Baron, Jan. 23, 2018