Tesla accidents are an emerging field with much that is yet to be discovered. As Teslas are a new technology, so are the legal claims when related to Tesla car accidents.
One of the most common questions we get as Tampa Tesla Accident Attorneys is whether or not Teslas are safe. That’s the question on many people’s minds as more and more people opt for electric cars with automated driving. This is an especially concerning matter when someone gets injured or dies in a Tesla accident; people want to know if automated driving caused the crash and who they can hold responsible, if so.
According to the Tesla website, there has been one fatality in a Tesla vehicle for every 320 million miles driven. While it’s a very low rate compared to the national average of one fatality per 86 million miles driven, it’s a different story when you compare that to the accident rate amongst other electric vehicles. When you compare Tesla accident rates to other driver-assisted automobiles, Tesla’s overrepresent crash rates.
Even though the Tesla Model S is the only vehicle to ever receive a perfect 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the numbers don’t lie. Tesla accounts for over 70% of all vehicle crashes involving advanced driver assistance programs.
Unfortunately, these sometimes result in injury and even death. For example, in 2019 two people were injured after their Tesla Model S crashed into a pole in Hillsborough County. In Tampa in 2022, a passenger and driver were both killed in a Tesla crash just off Interstate 75.
In such cases, victims or their families may have legal options. The Tesla model they were driving may have malfunctioned. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Tesla, contact a Tampa Tesla accident attorney for more information.
Are Tesla Vehicles Safe?
Are Tesla vehicles safe? As we move more towards advanced technologies in the car world, there are growing concerns about the safety of driver-assisted cars.
Many Tesla owners and potential buyers are asking just how safe Teslas are. This is important because we need to know who is responsible for Tesla accidents that are caused by faulty software, hardware, or car systems. Even if a driver contributes to a crash and is potentially responsible, the question of liability is very tricky with driver assisted cars. Should the driver be held totally accountable for a car crash that was caused in part by defective Tesla? Likewise, is it fair to hold Tesla legally accountable if a driver was negligent or careless? Part of the issue in determining liability in Tesla accidents is knowing how safe and reliableTaskas vehicles really are.
Tesla has a strong reputation for developing safe vehicles. But, despite that fact, they continue to make headlines in recent years for accidents. Quite a few Tesla accidents have occured in Hillsborough County in the past few years. This raises the question of whether these vehicles are as safe as they claim to be.
To answer this question, let’s look at the data. For starters, Tesla vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance systems. These features, combined with their low center of gravity, supposedly reduce the risk of crashing. Additionally, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that Tesla vehicles are less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than regular vehicles.
Despite this, the fact remains that accidents involving Tesla cars have resulted in severe injuries and fatalities in some cases. This is often due to the drivers of a Tesla vehicle not following proper safety measures or other drivers not following the law. A manufacturer is not responsible for driver negligence or other drivers’ wrongdoing. However, many Tesla crashes are believed to have occurred while in self-driving mode. The NHTSA is investigating many of these accidents to see how Tesla’s technology may have played a role.
This highlights the importance of following safety regulations when operating any type of vehicle, whether it is a Tesla or not. It also demonstrates some of the unique risks associated with Teslas and other electric vehicles. For example, their higher speed capabilities and greater power can sometimes cause more severe injuries if an accident occurs. Additionally, drivers of Teslas may be less familiar with their cars and not as aware of their potential hazards and risks.
As you can see, the safety of Teslas is a controversial issue with mixed opinions. The crash rates also make it difficult to determine if Teslas are in fact that safe. In any case, if you were involved in a Tesla accident, you need a skilled Tampa Tesla Accident Attorney who can assess your case to help you determine who is liable and move forward accordingly.
A Florida Tesla Accident Attorney Can Help You Determine Liability After an Accident
Every Tesla has an EDR or “event data recorder”, similar to the black box in an airplane. All EDRs are required to meet federal standards. Your Tampa Tesla Accident Attorney can help retrieve data from the EDR to support your accident claim. Moreover, there may be evidence in the EDR report to help determine and show who was liable.
This new technology allows us to shift from only drivers being liable for Tesla accidents to potential for the manufacturer to be liable. So let’s say that after an accident we retrieve an EDR report that shows the Tesla did in fact have some sort o f flaw or malfunction that caused an accident. In that case, rather than automatically holding the driver accountable, we might be able to find enough evidence to hold the manufacturer accountable.
To date, accident liability in Tesla cases is all determined case-by-case – there’s not one single pathway to determine liability since it’s such a new area of accidents. If NHTSA’s investigation finds enough flaws in Tesla’s current products, they might set federal regulations for drivers and manufacturers.
So it may be possible to hold the manufacturer responsible if the accident was caused by faulty steering on Autopilot, brake malfunctions, or automatic acceleration that erroneously overrides human operation. As these are all the responsibility of Tesla (i.e., to manufacture safe vehicles).
On the other hand, if a driver is overly reliant on autopilot or causes an accident while driving recklessly, drunk, or disregarding traffic signals, they could be liable.
You’ll want to get professional legal counsel to ensure you correctly identify all possible liable parties and have the chance to get rightful compensation. This is where a Tampa Tesla Accident attorney will be of invaluable service to you in such a confusing and complicated new field of car accident law.
What Can My Tampa Tesla Accident Attorney Find Out From an EDR Data Report?
Once your attorney gets hold of a Tesla’s EDR, you’ll be able to find out information like:
- Vehicle forces (any forces that acted on the car during the crash)
- Pre-crash data
- Including how the brakes were used before the collision and throttle application
- Operator actions
- Speed of the tesla
- How far the operator pressed gas or brake pedals
- G-force information
- Which setting in the Tesla were on or off (such as Autopilot)
- Whether or not occupants had on seat belts
Tesla’s EDR only starts recording under crash or near-crash conditions. Which means the evidence you need after an accident should likely be in the EDR report. You can speak with one of our experienced Tampa Tesla Accident Attorneys to determine how to get a hold of an EDR report.
A Big Issue for Car Accident Cases: Tesla’s EDR Report Doesn’t Show Autopilot Logs
One huge issue with Tesla’s EDR reports is that it doesn’t contain any Autopilot information. So if an accident happens due to some defect in the Autopilot software, we wouldn’t be able to tell from the EDR report. While leaving autopilot logs out of EDR data seems very convenient for Tesla, it might be more of a detriment for accident injury victims.
While Tesla does collect their own autopilot logs, they just don’t share it publicly. Rather, they keep it in their confidential archives. They partly do this to protect themselves from liability; if a person has no proof of autopilot malfunctioning, they can’t hold Tesla liable for the crash.
What Should I Do After a Tampa Tesla Accident?
After being involved in a Tampa Tesla accident, whether you were in the Tesla or got hit by a Tesla, it’s best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Car accidents are already stressful enough, but those involving Tesla bring a new level of unknown territory as well as complicated legal processes.
A Tampa Tesla Accident attorney can help you gather all the evidence you need and build a strong case to support your claim.
Contact A Tampa Tesla Accident Attorney Today For A Free Consultation
Our Tampa Tesla accident attorneys have the experience to help you make sure you get the recovery you deserve. Teslas are a new technology, which means legal cases involving Teslas are a new territory too.
The good news is that our lawyers have experience in dealing with Tesla cases in Florida and know how to navigate complex legal issues that lack precedence. This takes a skilled attorney who understands the nuances of interpreting the law and has adequate experience handling accident cases.
We treat every client with compassion and give them our undivided dedication and attention. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the best legal representation and advice in the Tampa Bay area. Our reputation was built on our outstanding services and commitment to our clients. We don’t just work as legal professionals, we are passionate about helping individuals suffering from physical and psychological injuries due to other peoples’ negligence. That’s what sets us apart; when you choose us, we fight for your rights like we would for our own family.
If you were injured in a Tesla accident in Tampa, Florida, contact a Tampa Tesla Accident attorney today to see how we can help.
Your initial consultation is free so don’t delay any longer.