A new study has revealed that Tesla drivers and vehicles have a higher accident rate than any other auto manufacturer.
Just a few days after Tesla was forced to recall nearly 2 million vehicles over safety issues with Autopilot, its semi-automated feature, a new report says Tesla has the highest accident rate of any automotive brand. According to a report by LendingTree, the auto loan and mortgage giant, there was no stated reason for why Tesla vehicles crash at a higher rate than any other vehicle brand. But the numbers are telling.
Tesla’s High Accident Rate
According to LendingTree.com, between Nov.14, 2022, and Nov. 14, 2023, there were 23.54 Tesla accidents per 1,000 drivers. Only two other brands had more than 20 accidents per 1,000 drivers: Ram (22.76) and Subaru (20.90). This crash rate also helped Tesla earn the second-highest incident rate at 31.13, behind only Ram (32.90). The difference between accident and incident rates is that the latter also factors in DUIs, speeding, and other traffic violations.
An analysis by The Drive goes into how Tesla’s Autopilot and Autosteer features could be why Tesla has such high crash numbers. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice investigated the automaker beyond vehicle safety issues. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 322 frontal and other collisions resulted from autopilot disengaging.
The massive Tesla recall last month highlighted that it is simply too easy for drivers to relinquish control of their vehicles to the Autopilot feature. Tesla has said it will fix that issue with a new over-the-air update. While Tesla drivers may not be better or worse than drivers or other vehicles, there is no question that this LendingTree report underscores a major concern that safety agencies have been talking about for a long time.
Why Autopilot Can Be Problematic
Tesla’s Autopilot system, a flagship feature renowned for its advanced driver-assistance capabilities, has been scrutinized and controversial due to several notable issues and concerns. One of the primary criticisms revolves around the system’s limitations and the misconception of its capabilities.
Despite being labeled “Autopilot,” Tesla’s system is not fully autonomous. It requires constant driver supervision and intervention. Some drivers have misinterpreted its capabilities, leading to accidents caused by relying too much on the system without active human monitoring.
Another significant concern is related to accidents and fatalities involving Tesla vehicles while using Autopilot. There have been instances where the system failed to detect obstacles or misinterpreted road conditions, resulting in collisions. Investigations and debates have questioned the system’s reliability and raised doubts about its ability to handle certain scenarios effectively.
Tesla’s approach to marketing and promoting its Autopilot feature has also faced criticism. Some argue that the company’s advertising and naming of the system as “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) or “Autopilot” could potentially mislead drivers about its actual capabilities, contributing to misuse and accidents.
Moreover, there have been calls for more transparent reporting and sharing of data regarding Autopilot incidents to enhance accountability and improve the system’s safety features.
Tesla has continuously attempted to update and improve its Autopilot system through over-the-air software updates. However, despite these efforts, concerns about the system’s safety, user understanding, and regulatory oversight persist, highlighting the ongoing challenges and controversies surrounding the implementation and usage of advanced driver-assistance systems such as Autopilot.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Tesla Accident
If you have sustained injuries in an accident involving a Tesla vehicle, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and seek medical attention immediately. After ensuring your well-being, several steps are essential to protect your rights and potentially seek compensation:
Get prompt medical attention. After any car accident, you must seek and obtain medical care and treatment. Keep track of your medical expenses and save any related documentation and invoices.
Gather information. Document the accident scene, take photos of the vehicles involved, and collect contact details from witnesses. Note the vehicle’s model, license plate numbers, and any visible damages.
Contact emergency services. Report the accident to law enforcement and request medical assistance if necessary. A police report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
Notify your insurance company. Inform your insurance provider about the accident without admitting fault. Follow their procedures for filing a claim.
Consult an experienced car accident lawyer. Seek the counsel of an experienced car accident lawyer who has successfully handled Tesla Autopilot cases and other auto product liability cases. They can assess your case, protect your rights, and guide you through the legal process.
Preserve all evidence. Keep copies of medical records, bills, repair estimates, and any correspondence related to the accident. These documents will help support your compensation claim.
Understand your rights. Familiarize yourself with your rights as an accident victim. Suppose the accident was due to negligence or a defect in the Tesla vehicle. In that case, you may have grounds for legal action and a claim for compensation from the manufacturer or other liable parties.
Remember, time limits apply to filing claims. It is crucial to act promptly and seek the counsel of a California car accident lawyer familiar with Tesla to explore your options for potential compensation.
At Bisnar Chase, our team also has a wealth of experience dealing with auto defect legal actions, such as challenging automakers over dangerous or defective parts and designs, or faulty safety systems. Contact our team for superior representation in your case.