Extraordinary circumstances are required for the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate a crash. The agency says it is “gathering information” on the motor vehicle crash a short distance north of Coral Gables in which two teenagers were killed.
The teens were killed in the Fort Lauderdale wreck of a Tesla Model S car. The car company said its electric vehicle’s advanced cruise control called Autopilot was probably not the cause of the fatal wreck that began when the vehicle went off the road, hit a concrete wall and then caught fire.
A spokesperson for the company said, “We have not yet been able to retrieve the logs from the vehicle, but everything we have seen thus far indicates a very high-speed collision and that Autopilot was not engaged.”
Tesla conceded that a high-speed crash can cause a vehicle fire, but insisted that a gasoline-powered vehicle is five times more likely to catch fire after a wreck.
Reuters reports that the company says in its promotional materials that eight airbags deploy in accidents to protect occupants in the front and rear of its vehicles. The battery system also automatically disconnects from its power source.
A company brochure for the 2014 Model S – the vehicle in the Florida crash – says “there is no safer car to be in than Model S.” However, NHTSA is investigating other Tesla crashes, including one two months ago that involved its Autopilot feature.
As our readers know, car companies across the country are racing to produce similar driverless technologies that will purportedly one day eliminate car accidents and traffic congestion, among other lofty goals.
For now, the person behind the wheel of a vehicle is responsible for recklessness, impairment or distractions that result in motor vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a negligent driver, contact a personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve for all damages.