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Tesla Fatal Car Crash: NTSB Reveals Need for Safeguards

Author: Sackstein Sacktein & Lee

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the Tesla fatal car crash that occurred in May of 2016. The Tesla semi-automated car driven by Joshua Brown crashed into a tractor-trailer and hit it broadside as the trailer made a left turn. More than a year later after the crash, in September 2017, the NTSB stated that Tesla should have had more operation limitations on drivers of semi-automatic cars.

Facts About the Tesla Fata Car Crash

The New York Post reported that the accident occurred in Williston, Florida (southwest of Gainesville) at an intersection. Joshua Brown had set the cruise control for 74 mph two minutes before the crash occurred. The speed limit was 65 mph and neither the driver nor the autopilot sensors noticed the tractor-trailer and consequently neither applied the brakes. An under-ride accident occurred with the car passing under the trailer.

fatal car accidents

Tesla’s Response to the Accident

In June 2016, Tesla said that Autopilot “is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”

Brown’s family released a state in September that stated, “We heard numerous times that the car killed our son. That is simply not the case,” the family’s statement said. “There was a small window of time when neither Joshua nor the Tesla features noticed the truck making the left-hand turn in front of the car.”

The statement went on to say, “People die every day in car accidents. Change always comes with risks, and zero tolerance for deaths would totally stop innovation and improvements.”

The family’s lawyer and spokesperson for Tesla declined to answer whether Tesla and the family had reached a legal settlement.

NTSB Holds Tesla Accountable

Certainly the truck driver and car driver had responsibility in not noticing each other’s vehicles. However, the NTSB also holds Tesla accountable. The Board believes the car needs safeguards such as the following:

  • Ensuring drivers paid attention and preventing over reliance on the automatic driving.
  • Allowing drivers only to use the system on highways and limited-access roads as the owner’s manual recommends.
  • Restricting use on roadways with cross traffic since the autopilot system does not reliably detect cross traffic.
  • Including further limitations to prevent drivers from misusing the system.

Semi-automatic cars are the bridge between driver controlled cars and completely automated cars. Accidents can occur until the correct balance is achieved and automation changes can actually prevent human errors.

Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP focuses its practice primarily on personal injury cases.

Distracted Driving : Apps to Keep Driver’s Safe

Drunk Driver Causes Accident in Deer Park During Police Pursuit

On Tuesday night October 13, 2015, Suffolk County police began pursuit an intoxicated driver of a 2010 Mercedes at Grand Boulevard and Carlls Straight Path around 10:00 p.m. The officer in pursuit lost sight of the Mercedes but spotted it again on the Long Island Expressway overpass at Dix Hills where it hit a 2011 Dodge Ram.

Newsday also reported that while the male driver of the Dodge Ram was okay, his son was transported to Huntington Hospital. He had minor injuries. Read More

New York is a no-fault insurance state. What does this mean? It means no matter who is at fault for causing an accident, your insurance company will cover damages up to a certain limit. The limit is $50,000. For more information, please see our No Fault Insurance Claims page.Because injuries in this accident were minor, accident victims would not have the right to pursue damages under the NY serious injury threshold established by NY statutes.

When injuries are serious, you should most definitely consult with an experienced accident lawyer as soon as possible. Palermo Tuohy Bruno offers a free consultation to accident victims. Also, if we take your case, you owe no fees unless we recover through settlement or verdict.


Cutchogue Long Island Limo Crash- Southold Businessman charged with DWI

A Fatal Car Accident Tragically Ends the Lives of Four Young Women in Suffolk County Cutchogue Long Island Limo Crash- Southold Businessman charged with DWI

When returning from local wineries and while making a U-turn on Route 48 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue, a limousine was struck by a pickup truck driven by an allegedly drunk driver. According to The Suffolk Times, the driver was speeding, and his truck t-boned the limousine on Saturday, July 18, shortly after 5:00 p.m. All of the girls riding in the limousine were between the ages of 23 and 25. One of the girls was getting married, and they went on an outing to local wineries to celebrate. Ironically, they were careful to rent a limousine, so they would be safe and not need a designated driver. However, three women died at the scene and one died later at the hospital. Two helicopters came to the accident scene and police closed off the area for several hours after the accident. Read More

The limousine driver attempted to make a U-turn in a spot that neighborhood residents had long considered to be dangerous. According to a Newsday article, residents worried about this location because of vineyard bound limousines making U-turns when there was oncoming traffic.

From a legal perspective, multiple parties may be at fault for causing or contributing to the accident. Clearly, if actually drunk and convicted of DWI, the truck driver would be at fault. However, if the limo driver was making an illegal or unsafe U-turn, negligence may be a factor, in which case the driver and limo company could be liable. Another possible factor is whether limousines meet tough enough safety standards to protect passengers against this type of accident, in which case liability would lie with the manufacturer. If the county was negligent about taking actions to make this road intersection safer, then the county government may be liable.If you suffered injury in a serious accident or lost a loved one, seek legal help as soon as possible. Through a free consultation, our attorneys at Palermo Tuohy Bruno can discuss and evaluate your case. Unless we recover through settlement or verdict, you owe no fees.



Long Island's Most Dangerous Roads

steven palermo

There is no doubt that some roads are more dangerous than others and consequently see more traffic accidents. When you know which roads are the most perilous, you can make a point of taking greater safety precautions.

News 12 Long Island released an article in March 2015 that named Route 25 as the most dangerous road in the tri-state area, and especially for pedestrians. This is the second year in a row that Route 25 earned this ranking. Read More

You might think that the Broadway in Manhattan, Queens Boulevard or even Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn would top the list as New York’s most dangerous thoroughfares. However, Vision Long Island reports that out of New York state’s 10 most dangerous roadways, seven of them are on Long Island. They include:

Suffolk County
• Middle County Road
• Sunrise Highway
• Route 1
Nassau County
• Wicks Road in Nassau Jericho Turnpike
• Hempstead Turnpike
• Sunrise Highway
• Merrick Road

These are not the only roads where serious accidents occur on Long Island. At the end of April, a serious car accident occurred on the Long Island Expressway at Exit 60 in Lake Ronkonkoma. An NBC New York reporter described the accident. A highway patrol officer was directing traffic at the freeway exit construction area when a tractor trailer rear ended his vehicle. The injured officer was airlifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

The best way to avoid accidents is to drive safely and put your attention fully on the road. Distracted driving is the most prevalent cause of accidents today, which includes talking on cell phones, texting and doing other activities while driving.

If you are involved in a serious Suffolk County accident, our law firm has offices in Hauppauge, Huntington and Garden City. Our experienced accident attorneys can help you hold negligent parties accountable.


Suffolk County Fatal DWI Crash:Peconic Man killed by drunk driver

Don't Drink and Drive!

Don’t Drink and Drive!







Author: Steve Palermo: Palermo Tuohy Bruno, PLLC.

Fatal DWI Crash : Crowded Roadways, Impatient Drivers and the Consumption of Alcohol

On Long Island this Saturday night there was another fatal car accident involving a driver alleged to be driving while under the influence.  The accident occurred in Greeport, a small community on the North Fork of Long Island.  The driver, John Costello was charged with driving while intoxicated.  Shortly before 7 pm, Mr. Costello’s car allegedly crossed over into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle head on. A passenger in the vehicle struck by Mr. Costello’s car died.

This tragedy is a reminder that driving during the holiday season can sometimes be dangerous, especially at night.  There are many reasons for the increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident at this time of year. Many people are attending holiday parties for the office or with friends and family.  Inevitably, this leads to more people consuming alcohol and driving.

And who hasn’t noticed the traffic on the roads this time of year? It seems as if everyone is out there running errands, shopping and racing to get where they need to be. Tempers are high from waiting on long lines at the store and patience is low. I think everyone can relate to the level of driver courtesy this time of year being lower than at other times for all of these reasons.

Crowded roadways, impatient drivers and the consumption of alcohol all pose a significant risk to your safety on the roads this holiday season. So how can you ensure you and your family remain safe on the way to your holiday gatherings? It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for people that may be driving while under the influence.  There are some signs that you can look out for that may save your life.
Here are some tips:
1 – Many intoxicated drivers have trouble maintaining their driving lane.  Swerving in and out of lanes is a sure sign that a driver may be intoxicated.
2 – Another sign a driver may be intoxicated is failing to observe traffic control devices.  Be wary of the driver that rolls past a stop sign or runs a red light.
3 – Intoxicated drivers often speed, or drive well below the speed limit.  So watch out for people driving at speeds that are unusual for the particular road that you are on.

Unfortunately, no matter how careful that you are, it is not always possible to avoid drunk drivers.  The best solution may be to avoid driving during the times when there are likely to be drunk drivers on the road.  Usually, the later in the evening that you are on the road the more of a chance that there will be intoxicated drivers.  Try and avoid driving at those times if possible.

Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt if everyone took a little more care while driving this month. Have courtesy for your fellow drivers, and remember that everyone has someplace to be. Hopefully, with a little care and planning everyone will remain happy and healthy this holiday season.