A woman was sent to a hospital with severe injuries following a vehicle-pedestrian accident near the intersection of 5th and Market Streets in San Francisco on October 2, 2023. According to a story from ABC 7 News, the woman was struck by a human driver, which launched her into the path o a Cruise autonomous vehicle where she lay trapped until the San Francisco Fire Department rescued her with the jaws of life.
She was then transported to a nearby hospital with “traumatic injuries.” The human driver fled the accident scene.
A spokesperson from Cruise stated that video footage of the incident indicated that the woman was initially struck by the human driver. The robotaxi, according to the spokesperson, operated as designed, slowing down before the collision.
Regarding the human driver responsible for striking the woman, the police are conducting an ongoing investigation. They noted that this incident marked the first time they had responded to an accident involving an autonomous vehicle and a hit-and-run by a human driver.
MJQ Law in San Francisco recently reported on the story, and further laid out the potential actions that other pedestrians involved in similar accidents can take to protect their legal rights.
Prevalence of Robotaxis in San Francisco
While known by various names, a robotaxi is commonly understood as:
- A self-driving or autonomous vehicle that operates as a taxi or ridesharing service without a human driver.
In San Francisco, especially in recent years, these vehicles have become more and more prevalent. There are a variety of reasons for this, having mostly to do with the benefits of using them:
- Reduced traffic congestion – As one of California’s largest cities, San Francisco faces significant traffic congestion. Robotaxis can optimize routes and traffic flow, potentially alleviating congestion by minimizing accidents and managing traffic more efficiently.
- Environmental benefits – Electric robotaxis can contribute to lower air pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with San Francisco’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable transportation.
- Enhanced safety – Robotaxis and other autonomous vehicles adhere rigorously to traffic regulations, potentially reducing accidents caused by human error, a significant issue in San Francisco.
- Accessibility – Robotaxis can expand transportation options for individuals with disabilities or those unable to drive, offering a more inclusive transportation solution.
- Cost-effectiveness – Ridesharing with robotaxis can be more cost-effective than owning a personal vehicle, as passengers only pay for the trips they take, reducing the financial burden associated with car ownership.
- Convenience – Robotaxis provide the convenience of on-demand transportation services, eliminating the need for parking, refueling, or vehicle maintenance.
- Less demand for parking – If fewer people own cars and use robotaxis instead, it could mean less need for parking, which helps with parking problems in crowded places like San Francisco.
Guidance After a San Francisco Accident
Being injured in any type of accident in San Francisco can have serious effects on your life. Whether it be injuries, missing work, or an overall reduced quality of life, an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan can guide you on next steps.
To find out more, victims can get in touch with them for a free consultation today