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Ohio man is automated driving’s first highway fatality

Driving is one of the United States’ great traditions. New technologies and designs have allowed each of the last five generations of Americans to travel farther and faster than the one before it. We are now on the cusp of yet another development in driving: one that allows us to give control to automated driving systems.

Distraction on the road and inattention to life-saving details has been a problem for many of these generations as well. The expansion of vehicle types, cell phones, car audio systems and sheer number of cars on the road has made accidents common and often harmful.

Automated driving systems, still in their first years of availability, create the possibility of a driver completely ignoring the road. One of the most popular developing autonomous vehicles for personal driving was recently involved in a fatal crash in Ohio.

A 40-year-old Canton man was using his car’s automated driving system on a divided highway in Florida when he hit a truck making a left turn in front of him. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) responded to the first known highway fatality of automated driving systems with a report that determined design limitations contributed to the crash. It was designed only for limited-access highways such as interstates, and the driver became over-reliant on the car and distracted from the road.

Victims of distracted driving, especially as automated systems become more prevalent, should seek legal restitution for damages, injuries or deaths caused by collisions and accidents. Legal representation can help them navigate the complexities of a settlement or court action.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal, “Investigators cite Tesla Autopilot limits in crash that killed Canton man,” Joan Lowy, Sep. 12, 2017

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