Posted BY: RM | NwoReport

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation into a fatal car crash involving a Tesla that may have been using autopilot. The incident occurred when the Tesla drove under a tractor-trailer attempting a turn. This comes as the Wall Street Journal released dashcam footage of another Tesla colliding with a stationary police vehicle, leading officers to sue Tesla, blaming autopilot for the crash.

Since 2021, Tesla has faced 11 NHTSA investigations related to wrecks involving first responder vehicles. Analyzing NHTSA data, The Washington Post discovered that Tesla’s autopilot features have been associated with 736 accidents since 2019, resulting in 17 fatalities and 5 serious injuries.

However, the NHTSA clarified that involvement in a crash doesn’t necessarily implicate autopilot as the cause. Beyond wrecks, concerns have arisen over electric vehicle (EV) fires. Incidents have been reported of EVs spontaneously catching fire, including a Tesla Model S igniting while charging in a home garage. A cargo ship fire carrying over 3,000 automobiles, including nearly 500 electric vehicles, was also attributed to an electric vehicle.

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Comparing EV safety to traditional vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) asserts that EVs are as safe as or even safer than gasoline-powered cars. However, EV batteries’ weight presents challenges, potentially leading to more severe outcomes in collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, or smaller vehicles. Tesla’s autopilot offers advanced features like automatic lane changing and stopping at red lights, but the company emphasizes that driver supervision is essential and full autonomy is dependent on regulatory approval.

Regarding EV fires, while instances receive substantial media attention, data suggests that EVs have a lower rate of catching fire compared to gasoline and hybrid vehicles. Nonetheless, concerns exist about emergency responders lacking adequate instructions for handling lithium-ion battery fires, as “cut loops” meant to disconnect power are often damaged in accidents.

In conclusion, concerns regarding Tesla’s autopilot safety and EV fires persist, with ongoing investigations and discussions about their implications for road safety and emergency response procedures. As the automotive industry navigates the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles, ensuring comprehensive safety measures and clear protocols for emergencies becomes paramount.