As digital maps make their way into general use and driverless cars are more than just a concept, a recent Arkansas accident reminds everyone that in the end a driver assumes responsibility for safe motoring. Trusting a digital device over sound judgment, careful observation of the roadway and traffic signs, as well as other motorists, may result in unwelcome consequences.
An accident occurred in Little Rock when a driver turned onto a one-way street and headed into traffic. His vehicle was described as a Google Street View Subaru, one of the vehicles that Google uses to map street view images for Google Maps. The car is outfitted with cameras and other equipment on its roof. The driver of the Subaru, realizing that he was heading the wrong way on the one-way street tried to make an alleged illegal U-turn and collided with a Mazda.
The Mazda driver was transported to the hospital and suffered multiple injuries in the collision. According to authorities, he was said to have bruised ribs and whiplash. The Subaru driver was said to have not been injured. According to unconfirmed reports, the Mazda driver was looking to take legal action against Google. The driver of the Subaru relied on Google's mapping of the area that was erroneous.
As in this case, reliance on digital maps without human interfacing may result in motor vehicle accidents. While map error may be considered a factor in the accident, the burden of responsibility may be held by the driver.
In a similar case, the injured party may experience financial issues dealing with medical bills and property loss as well as lost wages. An attorney may review the accident and might offer assistance in filing a personal injury suit to recover compensatory damages in a civil court.
Source: CNET, "How Google gets all that Street View data," Stephen Shankland, May 16, 2013
Source: Android Headlines, "Google Maps has Crashed, Into an Arkansas Resident", Phil Bourget, August 08, 2014