Still Need Post-Accident Test For Fatal Self-Driving Car Accident
Written by Lucas Kibby, CleanFleet
Science fiction has become science reality, self-driving cars are on the roads. Now we are facing the consequences that come with a new frontier. Last month marked the first fatal crash involving a self-driving car who may have been watching a Harry Potter movie at the time of the collision.
The driver was driving a Tesla Model S in autopilot mode, which is able to control a car while it’s driving on the highway. The truck driver, Frank Baressi, 62, told the Associated Press that the Tesla driver Joshua Brown, 40, was “playing Harry Potter on the TV screen” during the collision and “he went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him”.
This news brings up some interesting questions. Who’s at fault, the truck driver, the Tesla driver, or the car itself? This question is currently under investigation by the federal highway safety regulators. For the truck driver, does the truck driver need to be drug tested?
Yes, the truck driver needs to be tested because there was a fatality. Even though the accident involves a self-driving vehicle and the truck driver involved seems not at fault, the DOT regulations says in regards to post-accident testing:
As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for alcohol or controlled substances for each of its surviving drivers: who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life. Part 382.303
If you have any questions regarding DOT drug and alcohol regulations or mobile/24-7 drug testing, call CleanFleet today, 503-479-6082.