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Tesla Model S struggles in IIHS crash safety tests.

New Jersey residents may know that many experts believe that autonomous vehicle technology could one day considerably reduce the frequency of automobile accidents caused by human error. Tesla has included many of the latest autonomous safety systems on its luxury Model S sedan, and its CEO Elon Musk is on record as saying that his company's flagship model is the safest car ever built. However, the Model S has struggled to live up to Musk's comments in tests designed to determine how cars, SUVs and pickup trucks perform in real-world accident situations.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit organization that tests car designs and safety equipment by conducting several types of crash reenactment. The organization tested six full-size sedans in early July, and the Tesla Model S failed to make it onto the organization's list of the safest vehicles available in the United States. The Toyota Avalon, Lincoln Continental and Mercedes-Benz E-Class met the standard required in all five IIHS tests and have been added to the IIHS safest vehicles list.

The Tesla Model S, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala all had issues with the small overlap front test. This test involves propelling a car's front driver's side corner into an object at normal speeds. This kind of accident often occurs in real life when drivers misjudge a turn or lose concentration and strike a tree or utility pole. The seat belts fitted to the Tesla Model S were criticized for not being strong enough to properly restrain vehicle occupants in this type of car accident, and the Ford and Chevrolet failed to impress the testers because their drivers could suffer head or leg injuries in a real crash.

Even the safest of vehicles can be involved in an accident caused by reckless motorists, and those who suffer harm due to the actions of others may pursue civil remedies. Experienced personal injury attorneys may seek to settle car accident cases quickly when liability is clear, but they could also argue vigorously in court on behalf of their clients when efforts to reach an amicable resolution have been unsuccessful.

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