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What is it about the Bay Area’s self-driving cars that appear to be targets for rear-end collisions?

Last month, a bicyclist from the South of Market district (SoMa) hit the rear of a self-driving vehicle made by General Motors in the area of 11th and Mission Streets shortly before 5:30 a.m.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) accident report, the Cruise AV was headed north in San Francisco on 11th Street while driving in autonomous mode. As it made a left turn onto Mission Street., a car in one of the left tum lanes cut in front of the automated vehicle.

When the Cruise AV braked, the bicyclist crossing behind it hit the rear of the automated Cruise vehicle, leaving a slight scratch. The bike itself showed no damage and the rider declined treatment at the scene, despite having a scraped knee.

Since January, six accidents involving self-driving vehicles were reported in the state, and all occurred in the Bay Area. Usually, the collisions involve another driver or cyclist hitting the rear of the automated vehicles.

Below is a recap of other incidents:

  • February – A Toyota struck the rear of an automated car after the Toyota was first hit from behind in the Fillmore district.
  • March – A Mercedes rear-ended a GM Cruise automated vehicle on 10th Street at a green light when the self-driving car was traveling at a low rate of speed.
  • March – Only the day after the above accident, another GM Cruise got hit on Broadway when a car attempted to pass it.
  • March – A Google self-driving car was hit from behind in Mountain View, although it wasn’t in autonomous mode.
  • April – A self-driving Google vehicle in Palo Alto “made contact with the curb.”

Self-driving cars and liability laws are experiencing a new frontier. If you are injured in an accident involving an automated vehicle, speak to a legal professional to learn your rights under the laws of California.

Source: Curbed San Francisco, “People keep rear-ending self-driving cars in the Bay Area,” Adam Brinklow, June 12, 2017

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