In light of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s response to Kim Paquette about how safe Tesla vehicles are, I wanted to share a quick comparison between Tesla’s data and overall auto accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We have not reported on the latest safety update from the company.
In response to Kim, who is a Tesla FSD beta tester, Elon Musk shared Tesla’s latest accident stats, which go through Q2 2021. Kim noted that, on average, there are 35,000 traffic deaths on US roads due to human error, yet the mainstream media (major media outlets) would have you believe that 94% of these are due to Elon Musk.
Tesla publishes accident statistics quarterly. They are so much better than other vehicles, it is ridiculous. https://t.co/q44lsk1BnK
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 6, 2021
Kim also said that she uses Tesla’s Autopilot every time she drives because she feels less safe without it. One thing she pointed out is that Autopilot allows her to monitor her surroundings, and she sees a lot of drivers texting — and the majority of these drivers don’t have advanced drivers assistance features.
In Tesla’s second vehicle safety report for Q2, 2021, Tesla stated:
“In the 2nd quarter, we recorded one crash for every 4.41 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology (Autosteer and active safety features). For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology (no Autosteer and active safety features), we recorded one crash for every 1.2 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles.”
Last month, the NHTSA released a report titled, Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (January-June) of 2021, which I wrote about at the time.
In that article, I noted that the NHTSA pointed out that preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) showed that vehicle miles traveled during the first half of 2021 increased by around 173.1 billion miles — 13%. Keep in mind this is from the first half of this year, in which Tesla’s Q2 data also falls. According to the data presented in the NHTSA’s report, the fatality rate for the first half of 2021 increased to 1.34 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
It’s important to keep in mind that the NHTSA was more focused on the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled while Tesla’s data reflect how many crashes there were per 100 vehicles miles traveled, both with and without Autopilot engaged.
Given that the fatality rate doesn’t include the crash rate per 100 million miles driven, we can’t say that there were more or fewer crashes than Tesla’s crash per 4.41 million miles driven with Autopilot engaged. What we can take note of is that Tesla’s data reflects that its vehicles are increasingly safer with Autopilot engaged than without.
In addition to that, there are several instances in which Tesla’s vehicles have saved the lives of its occupants while Autopilot or FSD Beta was engaged. There are numerous stories all over the web. We have covered some of them. Here are just a few stories that I’ve written on this topic:
- Tesla Autopilot Vs. Bad Drivers: 25 Stories Of How Autopilot Saved Lives (Video)
- Tesla’s Autopilot Saves Lives — Period. Just Ask This Drunk Driver.
- Tesla Autopilot Might Have Saved Life Of Driver Who Fell Asleep At Wheel In Wisconsin
- Tesla’s Autopilot Saves More Lives: Suspected DUI Driver Passed Out While Driving & Was Safely Stopped
- Tesla FSD Beta Protects A Cyclist Running A Red Light
- Tesla’s FSD Beta V9 Stopped Car When Kid Suddenly Ran Out In Front Of Vehicle
The above are just a few of the stories of how this amazing technology has saved lives.
I find it odd and, honestly, disturbing that the mainstream media intentionally sensationalizes Tesla-related accidents unless it’s been proven that Tesla was completely not responsible.
Elon Musk and Tesla are actively trying to solve the problem of car accidents, and rather than getting praise for pursuing solutions and even significantly cutting down on the number of accidents at this stage. Instead, it could actually hinder Tesla from successfully solving the problem by nagging Tesla’s every move. The NHTSA has been breathing down Tesla’s back for the past few months while the Biden administration is trying to convince the world that GM is the EV leader, stimulated in part by this media obsession.
Tesla vehicles with Autopilot engaged get into fewer accidents than vehicles without the life-saving technology. It’s true that this is not a comparison of models of the same age or vehicle class, which could influence statistics, but even within the Tesla universe, cars with Autopilot engaged get into far fewer accidents than cars that don’t have Autopilot engaged.
I wrote about this back in April after the drama that followed the well sensationalized Tesla-related accident in Houston. Instead of blaming Elon Musk or Tesla for accidents that involved reckless driving, we need to hold the drivers accountable. In a sane world, the driver is at fault if they hit someone.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 10, 2021
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
EV Obsession Daily!
Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.