The day every resident of Salt Lake City has feared has arrived. While this accident happened over 2,000 miles from Salt Lake City, Tesla’s first autopilot death is something many Salt Lake City residents have feared. While wrongful death has been a hot topic of conversation lately, it’s important to learn the facts before you freak out. Sure, there will be talk about the family hiring a lawyer to sue Tesla for wrongful death, but the facts show that Tesla could not be at fault.
The first death in a Tesla running autopilot occurred when a truck tried to cross the road and autopilot failed to slow the vehicle down. This could make the wrongful death case interesting because there are three different possible parties at fault. At first, most people think it is the truck driver’s fault for not looking both ways before pulling out.
Then you hear that the truck driver looked both ways and got hit because the Tesla was going way over the speed limit and failed to slow down. This information argues that Tesla is at fault. Then the story comes out that the driver was watching Harry Potter while driving. This could get Tesla off the hook, because autopilot is still in beta and drivers are reminded to keep both hands on the wheel at all times and watch the road.
Is Autopilot Actually Safer?
While Tesla could still end up losing a lawsuit regarding this case, autopilot still might be safer that human driving. Tesla stated that autopilot has been safely used for over 130 million miles of driving before its first fatality, and a fatality occurs on average every 94 million miles in the U.S. and every 60 million miles worldwide. While this will not get Tesla off the hook, it will help assure customers that driving a Tesla is safe — and most likely will be used by a lawyer in court as some point in time.
Since there are three parties involved, this could get interesting — and every lawyer will pay close attention because the verdict on this case will impact an entire industry.