Google has announced that a self-driving Google car was involved in a crash in Mountain View, California. The self-driving Lexus SUV was struck from behind by another vehicle. Three employees of the tech giant who were riding inside the SUV said they suffered minor whiplash in the incident; however, they were approved to return to work the next day. The motorist in the vehicle that struck the Google car also complained of back and neck injuries.
California has approved self-driving cars to be tested on its roadways, but it requires that a driver be at the wheel of all automated cars for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle in the event of an emergency. Usually, Google also puts a second employee in the car to make notes of the driving experience en route. In this accident, a third employee happened to be riding in the back seat of the car.
During the six years of testing Google’s self-driving cars, this is the 14th accident in approximately 1.9 million miles. Google alleges that none of the 14 collisions was caused by its vehicles. The tech giant claims that its vehicles will offer more safety and efficiency than human-driven vehicles.
Google claims that the rear-end accident was the result of distracted driving. The Mountain View police chose not to file an accident report. Whether or not this crash will result in any kind of personal injury claims or a civil lawsuit remains to be seen.
Drivers injured in California car accidents must file a civil claim for damages within a certain period of time following the incident. Once that time period has passed, drivers will not have the ability to seek damages in court. Therefore, it is important to pursue such an action as soon as possible following an injurious collision.
Source: SFGate, “Google self-driving car involved in first injury accident,” Justin Pritchard, July 17, 2015