NTSB Shares Verdict on Culver City Crash Between Tesla and Fire Engine
Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was interested to learn that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released the results of its investigation into a crash involving a Tesla Model S P85 and Culver City Fire Department Culver City Engine 42. The crash, which happened on January 22 of last year, occurred in the high-occupancy vehicle lane of the southbound Interstate 405 within the Culver City Real Estate area.
According to the NTSB’s findings, “the probable cause of the Culver City, California, rear-end crash was the Tesla driver’s lack of response to the stationary fire truck in his travel lane, due to inattention and overreliance on the vehicle’s advanced driver assistance system; the Tesla’s Autopilot design, which permitted the driver to disengage from the driving task; and the driver’s use of the system in ways inconsistent with guidance and warnings from the manufacturer.”
The Culver City Fire Department crew was on the 405 in the emergency lane working a motorcycle down call when the crash happened. The fire truck was unoccupied at the time of the crash and no injuries were reported by anyone on the road or the driver of the Tesla.
At the time the driver reported that the Tesla was on autopilot and that he was no paying attention to the road.
A Tesla Inc. spokesperson pointed out when the crash happened in 2018 that “autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver.”
The driver of the Tesla told the NTSB that he “was having a coffee and a bagel. And all I remember, that truck, and then I just saw the boom in my face and that was it.”
Local listing agent Martin Feinberg noted that the Tesla had been driving in the HOV lane, following another vehicle, but failed to exit the lane when the Culver City Fire Department Engine came into view, like the other vehicle did. Instead it accelerated and hit the rear of the fire engine going around 31 miles per hour. He did not attempt to steer or break before impact.