Why Tesla accidents are happening at a higher rate than any other vehicle in the United States.
Tesla has received a lot of bad press in recent weeks. In December 2023, the company issued a massive recall of over 2 million Tesla vehicles sold between 2012 and 2023 for concerns over its Autopilot feature. Days later, a report conducted by LendingTree revealed Tesla drivers have the highest accident rate of any automotive brand. From November 2022 to November 2023, there were 24 Tesla accidents per 1,000 drivers.
According to the company, Tesla vehicles are engineered to be the safest cars in the world. But recent headlines are painting these “smart vehicles” as some of the most dangerous. In this article, our Treasure Coast accident attorneys uncover why Tesla accidents are occurring at a higher rate than any other vehicle and provide useful safety tips for anyone who owns or drives a Tesla.
The scary reality of Tesla smart capabilities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies Tesla’s Autopilot feature as a big contributor to the company’s high number of accidents. Let’s take a closer look:
- Since 2019, Tesla’s Autopilot feature has been involved in 736 crashes, including 17 fatalities.
- Since 2021, Tesla vehicles have accounted for nearly 70% of all reported crashes involving advanced driver-assist systems.
- As of February 9, 2024, Tesla vehicles have been involved with 500 traffic fatalities, with 42 of those fatalities occurring in vehicles using the Autopilot feature.
Why Tesla accidents happen at a higher rate
The circumstances of every Tesla accident differ. However, reports identify five unique reasons for why we are currently seeing an uptick in Tesla accidents throughout the country.
1. Misuse of Autopilot
A big reason why Tesla vehicles are involved in a higher number of accidents is that drivers misuse the Autopilot feature. Autopilot is designed to assist drivers, not replace them. However, some drivers over-rely on these systems, failing to remain attentive and ready to take control when necessary. This can lead to accidents if the driver fails to intervene promptly or misinterprets the capabilities of Autopilot.
2. Driver complacency
Tesla vehicles come equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems, like Autopilot, which can create a false sense of security among drivers. Some users may become complacent and rely too heavily on these systems, failing to remain attentive and ready to take control when necessary. Tesla repeatedly emphasizes that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel and remain alert while using Autopilot, but not all drivers adhere to these guidelines.
3. Complexity of electric vehicles
Tesla’s electric vehicles operate differently from traditional internal combustion engine cars. Drivers may need time to adjust to the unique characteristics of electric propulsion, including regenerative braking and different handling dynamics, potentially leading to accidents during the learning curve.
4. Technical issues
While Tesla vehicles are known for their advanced technology, technical issues can still occur. Software bugs, sensor malfunctions, or other technical glitches could potentially contribute to accidents.
5. Infrastructure limitations
The infrastructure for supporting autonomous and electric vehicles is still developing. In some cases, inadequate road markings, signage, or infrastructure limitations may pose challenges for Tesla vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance system.
Safety tips for Tesla drivers and owners
When driving a Tesla, like any other vehicle, it’s important to follow safe driving practices to ensure the wellbeing of yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. But here are some safety tips specifically for Tesla drivers:
- Use Autopilot responsibly: If you choose to use Autopilot, ensure that you understand its limitations and use it responsibly. Avoid distractions and be prepared to intervene if the system encounters challenges or requires human intervention.
- Stay alert and engaged: While Tesla’s Autopilot system can assist with driving tasks, it is not a substitute for attentive and engaged driving. Always keep your hands on the steering wheel and remain alert, ready to take control of the vehicle if needed.
- Complete software updates: Tesla frequently releases software updates to improve performance, add new features, and enhance safety. Ensure that your Tesla is up-to-date with the latest software updates by enabling automatic updates or regularly checking for updates manually.
- Check if your vehicle is under recall – If your Tesla is included in a recall, service to address the issue will be provided for free regardless of age or mileage. Check if your car is affected by a recall here.
Injured in a Tesla accident on the Treasure Coast?
Call Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd immediately at 866-930-6435
If you are involved and/or injured in a Tesla car accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee, the best thing you can do is call our office and speak with one of our car accident attorneys. Free of charge, we will set-up an in-person or over-the-phone consultation to help you understand your rights and what your next steps should be.
The car accident attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have over 40 years of experience helping thousands of injury victims and their families recover from serious accidents on the Treasure Coast. We’re experienced. We’re local. We’re on your side.
Contact us today for a FREE case review by calling 866-930-6435