New Government Data Sheds Light on Tesla Self-Driving Car Safety

Tesla being unloaded from Delivery Semi truck
Posted: April 5, 2023

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) aims to improve roadway safety. One of its agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), recently published crash data concerning cars with varying levels of automation. Data is contained in two “summary reports” available on the NHTSA website.  


Data in the first report concerns vehicles with “Level 2” automation, while data in the second report concerns vehicle with automated driving systems categorized as “Levels 3-5,” according to a June 15, 2022 press release on the NHTSA website.  


As a reminder, the levels of automation were established by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Whereas Level 2 automation leaves the operator firmly in control of the vehicle, with certain assist features, Levels 3 through 5 involve much higher degrees of automation.  


Tesla is an electric-vehicle manufacturing and energy company known as a leader in self-driving-car technology. According to data relating to vehicles equipped with Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Tesla reported the most crashes through May 15, 2022, with 273 reported crashes. That put Tesla way ahead of Honda and Subaru, which were distant numbers two and three, with 90 and 10 reported crashes, respectively.  


According to some reports, this data does not undermine Tesla’s good reputation for safety.  Tesla does, after all, have more vehicles with automated systems operating on U.S. roads, and it collects real-time data from its vehicles, leading to faster reporting.  


The company has more partly automated vehicles on U.S. roads than any other automaker, according to the Associated Press. 

Comparing Tesla to Other Cars 

Bearing these statistics in mind, observers may question: 

  • What is the Tesla crash rate versus other cars? 
  • What is the Tesla death rate versus other cars? 
  • What is the Tesla safety rating versus other cars?

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), the world’s largest telematics service provider, recently set out to answer some of these questions. According to a widely circulated press release, CMT found that Tesla cars were 50% less likely to have accidents than comparable gas-driven cars. CMT conducted a study to identify key risks between internal-combustion engines and electric vehicles by using variables such as drowsy driving, vehicle range, distracted driving, and speeding. 


According to some sources, the study found two eye-opening stats concerning the safety of Tesla cars, both related to driver conduct: 

  • Motorists were 21%  less likely to engage in distracted driving with their phones while in their Teslas than when driving another car; and  
  • Nine-percent less likely to drive above the speed limit than when driving another car. 

Tesla Vehicle Accident Data 

In Tesla’s Vehicle Safety Report, the company shares that its Model S, Model X, and Model 3 have one of the lowest overall probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NCAP, also known as the five-star vehicle-safety-rating system, was created in 1978 to help people understand how safe new vehicles are before buying them.Tesla’s Model 3 has received a five-star safety rating from NCAP in every category and sub-category, according to an October 2018 statement


Tesla’s Vehicle Safety Report for the third quarter of 2022 shows one crash for every 6.26 million miles driven among drivers using “Autopilot” technology. Among drivers not using this technology, there was one crash for every 1.71 million miles driven.  

Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney Today  

While autonomous vehicles may have excellent safety features, vehicles on the road today are only partially automated, meaning that the vehicle operator maintains control. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact us today. The personal injury attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. are willing to examine even the most challenging of cases and can advocate to get you maximum compensation. Tesla car crash cases can be complicated.  


The attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. have the experience and knowledge to investigate your case and guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim for pain and suffering. To schedule a free initial consultation, complete our online consultation form, or dial (844) 444-4444 today. 

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