Are self-driving cars equipped with computers, sensors and GPS really the best answer to driver negligence? The answer may be open to debate, but recent motor vehicle crash data provides a sobering perspective: human error is a causal factor in around 90 percent of traffic accidents. On U.S. roads last year, there were 35,000 fatalities.

Unfortunately, a 28-year-old Pittsburgh driver is an example of the dangers that are frequently present on our state’s roads and highways. Authorities believe the driver had been drinking, lost control of his vehicle, hit the guardrail and then went into the oncoming lane of traffic. The driver collided with another car, bringing both vehicles to a screeching halt on Westinghouse Bridge.

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The fatal crash happened around 3 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning in East Pittsburgh. When authorities arrived on the scene, they found the crash victim inside his badly damaged car. Tragically, the victim did not survive his injures and was pronounced dead by a paramedic less than a half hour later. The intoxicated driver, in contrast, had left his vehicle and was walking away from the crash scene. Authorities observed that his eyes were bloodshot and that his breath smelled of alcohol.

Considering that even sober drivers contribute to the earlier mentioned fatal crash statistics, it seems unforgivable when an individual gets behind the wheel after drinking. In this case, the young man is facing involuntary manslaughter and DUI charges. However, the surviving loved ones of the crash victim may find that to be small consolation as they deal with their grief.

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A wrongful death lawsuit suit might be one way to help surviving loved ones obtain a sense of justice after this tragedy. That type of lawsuit will require the driver to answer for his actions in a civil action, separate from his criminal trial.  

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Source:  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Stanton Heights man charged with DUI in fatal weekend crash in E. Pittsburgh,” Aug. 29, 2016

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