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Driverless Uber Death Reveals Autonomous Cars Will Not Solve the 
Biggest Problem with U.S. Roadways

A recent death involving a pedestrian and self-driving Uber car has shed light on safety issues with U.S. roadways. In March 2018, 49-year-old Elaine Hertzberg was crossing a street in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck by an autonomous car, resulting in her death. While advocates for these driverless vehicles believe the new technology will result in improved traffic safety, others believe that the new technology glosses over pre-existing problems that already make roadways unsafe for pedestrians and others.

Experts at the World Resources Institute claim that self-driving cars are a “Band-Aid” solution. This past year, the number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. stayed steady at a 25-year peak for the second year in a row. Over all, across the nation, 34,000 people die in car accidents a year.

Cities, like Washington DC and New York City, that are more pedestrian-oriented have had fewer traffic fatalities per capita, seeing only about two to three deaths on the road per 100,000 residents. However, other large cities that are not so-pedestrian friendly, such as Los Angeles Atlanta, and Miami have a significantly higher rate of traffic fatalities per capita. There are underlying issues that need to be addressed with our roadways.

  1. Lowering Traffic Speeds: Lower speed limits reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries for a number of reasons.  One being, driving at very high speeds can result in driver’s having tunnel vision.  Driving at lower speeds allows drivers to have a wider field of vision and they are more likely to notice others on the road, it also gives them time to react if the unexpected happens. Even if a crash does occur, the consequences are less severe if a driver is traveling at a low rate of speed, especially if it involves a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist. A pedestrian has a 90 percent chance of survival if hit by a vehicle moving at 30 mph.
  1. Public Transit: If residents in a metropolitan area have an increased access to bus and subway systems, this can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that occur from traffic accidents.
  1. Formation of Dense Cities: Another way to reduce traffic accidents is to create dense cities or neighborhoods within larger metropolitan areas to encourage walking rather than driving. If stores and other features are accessible by walking or public transit, the number of cars on the road as well as the number of traffic accidents goes down.
  1. Widening Sidewalks: Metropolitan cities where sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks are wider have consistently experienced a reduced number of traffic fatalities for drivers, walkers and bicyclists.


Our Miami personal injury law firm is dedicated to helping victims of Uber car accidents fight for their rights. We have successfully filed hundreds of Florida car accident claims for numerous clients, and we are ready to do the same for you. It is important to remember that time is critical in any type of compensation claim; accordingly, if you, or someone you love has been the victim of an Uber car accident, we suggest you call us immediately at 305-441-0440 or email us directly at [email protected].

Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws and since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families- and hold auto insurers like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others accountable for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages suffered by our clients. Our office is always available toll-free at 1-866-597-4529. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital.  Call us today, we are ready to help.

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