Are Tesla Vehicles With Autopilot More Or Less Dangerous Than Other Vehicles?

Tesla is under a lot of scrutiny right now because of mounting public pressure to lockdown its popular “autopilot” feature. Autopilot systems allow the vehicle to make decisions on its own when on certain roadways. According to Elon Musk, drivers are still supposed to keep their eyes on the road and be ready to take over at a moment’s notice, and so the liability for autopilot software error should still fall on the driver.

But the real question is this: are vehicles with autopilot more dangerous than those without? After all, a few accidents doesn’t mean anything. They were inevitable.

It’s the answer to that question that many outlets are ignoring. Studies have indicated that autopilot actually increases safety rather than decreases it. In other words, keep it on and you’re less likely to have an accident. Isn’t it suspicious that the news has left that little detail alone?

The accidents have increased during winter, which was a reality that Tesla said it expected. And to be fair, the safety information we’re relying on actually comes from Tesla itself. It would be far more reliable from a third-party. That means trust is a big issue for those who argue Tesla should be taking more responsibility for deaths that occur when autopilot fails.

The last quarterly report for 2019 said: “In the 4th quarter, we registered one accident for every 3.07 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 2.10 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 1.64 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 479,000 miles.”

There are a lot of facts to swallow, but here are the main takeaways: somehow, Tesla owners seem to be somewhat safer than your average driver. In addition to that, those who engage autopilot are much less likely to get into an accident than those who have an average vehicle. To put it mathematically, Autopilot means you’re about six times safer. 

Electrek reported: “The main complaint about Tesla’s set of Autopilot data is that the system is mostly used on the highway versus city driving, where accidents are more common. Therefore, it’s not really useful to compare those two datasets. Also, the comparison with the overall NHTSA data also includes older vehicles, which are more likely to be involved in accidents than Tesla’s much more recent vehicles on average.”

In other words, what we really need to know is how they stack up against other newer models of traditional vehicles and all their safety features as well.

Could A Hacker Cause Your Car Accident in 2019?

The world is growing increasingly complex. Our technology sometimes seems to get away from us, so the question of whether or not our safety standards are outpacing it is worth asking. Unfortunately, it seems like safety standards will never be enough. There are creative criminals out there working to hack into your vehicles–heck, even the government could become a capable car hacker in the years ahead. Yes, it is possible for a hacker to cause a car accident in 2019.

There are only about 330 million people living in the United States–including those who are too young or too old to drive–but somehow we manage to register about 250 million vehicles every year in our country alone. That’s a scary statistic, since many of those cars are new. These are the vehicles that are more likely to be connected to wi-fi, and that means that hackers can potentially do some damage.

But how do they do it?

They do it by hijacking the controller area network (or CAN) that cars use. Think of it as your car’s “brain” sending out signals to various parts, each performing a separate task. CAN’s creators didn’t really consider cybersecurity when they developed it in the 80s, so now we’re at risk.

All right, so hackers can take over your vehicle. What can they do?

Well, what they can do is determined by which parts of your vehicle are controlled by that computer automation. The list is getting more expansive year by year: stability control, anti-lock brakes, airbags, headlights, lane guidance, or even Tesla’s controversial autopilot system. This is all child’s play compared to the inevitable wave of automated vehicles on the horizon. When full automation is allowed on the roads, then hackers can do a lot more.

How do I know if my vehicle has been hacked?

When your car’s electronics stop working or start to behave erratically, you might blame hacking. If you suspect this to be the case, then it’s time to contact a lawyer. This is especially true if you were injured in a car accident because of the potential intrusion. Your lawyer will help you contact the authorities, perform an investigation, and seek compensation for any damage done.

Car Accidents Deaths By State

The number of deaths that have been a result car crashes in the United States has increased over the past few years by around 6%-7% a year. In 2014, the total number of deaths due to crashes was 32,744, in 2015, the number of crashes was 35,092 (+7.2%), and in 2016, that number rose to 37,461 (+6.3%). The total number of injuries also increased from 2014 to 2015 4.5%. The overall goal every year is to have the rate of deaths by car accident go in the opposite direction than they have been in recent years. Drivers can take a number of preemptive measures to prevent death in the occurrence of an accident. For example, wearing your seatbelt, following traffic laws, and practicing other various defensive driving techniques.

Top 5 States by Total Number of Car Accident Deaths

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), some states have a higher number of car accident related deaths. The top five states with the highest car accident related deaths are:

  1. Texas – 3,776
  2. California – 3,623
  3. Florida – 3,174
  4. Georgia – 1,554
  5. North Carolina – 1,450

Texas finished in the number one spot for this category, making it one of the most dangerous states to drive in, based on the sheer number of auto accident related deaths. North Carolina rounded out the top five with 1,450 car accident related deaths. Tennessee was not too far behind, rounding out the top ten with a total of 1,041 car accident related deaths.

Top 5 States by Car Accident Deaths Because of Various Factors

According to the records of the IIHS, one of the factors that weigh into the total number of an auto accident deaths is intoxicated driving. The top five states where the largest number of drivers who had died in a car accident and were found with a BAC greater than or equal to .08 are:

  1. Texas – 811
  2. Florida – 636
  3. North Carolina – 531
  4. Georgia – 470
  5. California – 470

Texas finished with the most car accident deaths with an illegal BAC with 811. California rounded out the top five with 470. Tennessee finished with 343 car accident deaths with a BAC result; that was bad enough to rank them 11th in the United States.

Another factor that weighs into the total number of deaths due to car accidents is the use of a restraint. A restraint was defined by the IIHS as a seat belt or a child’s car seat. The top five states with the most non-restraint use related deaths are:

  1. Texas – 935
  2. Florida – 747
  3. California – 587
  4. Georgia – 477
  5. North Carolina – 432

Once again the state of Texas finished first with 1,247 non-restraint use related deaths. Georgia rounded out the top five. Tennessee had the 10th most non-restraint use death (348).

Based on the information given by the IIHS we can conclude that some of the most deadly states to drive in are Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Although those finished top five in a lot of categories, that does not mean that other states are not deadly as well. Tennessee was around ten for most categories, making it on the more dangerous side of the 50 states.

Contact Us

If you are a resident of Tennessee and your loved one has died as a result of a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for a wrongful death suit. Contact us at Memphis Law Firm. We have the expertise necessary to get you the highest compensation package you deserve.

What Causes Highway Car Accidents?

Car accidents are terrifying no matter what. Usually, you don’t know what happened until you and the other driver are both out of the car–and that’s assuming the other guy doesn’t decide to run away. Highway car accidents can be even more hectic, because there’s a much higher probability that other vehicles will be involved. Sometimes, dozens or hundreds of vehicles can pile up on a crowded highway, causing chaos, hysteria, and compounding the number of injuries or deaths. So what causes highway car accidents?

The short answer is easy: human error. Accidents are called accidents because they are the result of mistakes and usually simple ones at that. If all drivers followed the guidelines set forth by law, fewer accidents would result anywhere, highway or otherwise.

Causes of Highway Car Accidents

One primary cause of highway car accidents is distracted driving. Picking up that cell phone to take an incoming text might not seem like a big deal, but it reduces the amount of time spent watching the road by about 400 percent. Even though most people know they shouldn’t do it, a greater number acknowledge that they do it anyway. Distracted drivers are responsible for about a quarter of all car accidents.

Drinking and driving is another major factor. Huge numbers of people drink and drive. In some demographics, the number reaches as high as 30 percent. About a third of all traffic accidents are the result of alcohol impairment. When combined with distracted driving, we can now account for about 55 percent of all traffic-related accidents.

Highways are unique in that many people feel the need for speed when driving on them. Some even believe that speed is a crucial aspect to highway driving. The faster you drive, the more likely it is that you’ll lose control. On top of that, more speed almost always results in more damage and a higher probability of serious injury or death when an accident does take place.

Reckless driving accounts for nearly all the rest. Teen drivers are most likely to drive recklessly. Weaving in and out of traffic or bouncing back and forth from lane to lane for no reason whatsoever is common enough. When driving on the highway, it is absolutely critical to leave enough space between your vehicle and the vehicles around you that you can stop without slamming into the vehicle in front of you. Reckless drivers don’t care, and most drivers don’t realize how much space is enough to avoid an accident. If you’re driving at normal highway speed limits (and most people drive above it), then sixty feet isn’t enough room to slam on your brakes without slamming into the car directly in front of you. If you tailgate and hit the car in front of you, you are almost always liable for any damage or injury that results. Don’t do it.

If you’ve been in an accident, then seek legal counsel immediately.

Injured From a Tire Blowout? Who is Responsible?

Imagine this: You’re driving on the highway after a long day at work, when suddenly you hear an explosion. Your car begins to swerve, and you can’t seem to get in control of your vehicle.  You slow down to a stop on the shoulder of the highway and find your tire has blown out. During the incident, you’ve injured your knee from the impact as well as what appears to be a sprained wrist. What now?

Who’s Responsible For a Tire Blowout Accident?

Tire blowouts typically fall under the sector of law that deals with product liability. If you’ve found that your blown tire had been improperly installed or defective, you can hold the tire manufacturer or installer accountable for the incident and receive compensation. Additionally, if the tire blowout resulted in an injury and the tire has been proven defective or improperly installed, you may file a personal injury claim to those responsible parties for medical compensation. To prove that the tire had been defective or improperly installed, a professional will need to be on retainer to determine how the blowout occurred.

Let’s say that the tire of the vehicle driving next to you blew out, and subsequently caused that car to crash into yours in the chaos. You find yourself injured as a result of the collision. Typically, this would be treated as any other auto accident and you may be able to seek compensation from the other driver’s negligence, as all drivers have a responsibility to check tires for wear. However, if the other driver is seeking compensation for their defective or improperly installed tire, the liability becomes slightly more convoluted. Legal advice should be taken here by all parties.

If a tire blowout accident involves a truck, liability can fall to the driver, manufacturer, installer and/or retailer. Truck drivers have even more of a responsibility to check their tires for wear than passenger drivers, as well as monitor any changes in tire pressure. Yet, truck drivers are not the only parties that can be held responsible, as trucks are subject to routine inspections. An inspector who failed to detect a defect in the tire may be held liable. As in the aforementioned cases, installers or manufacturers that sell or install defective tires may also be held accountable in these cases.

Contact Us

Given the conditional and often situationally specific types of personal injury/product liability cases, it’s imperative you contact an experienced attorney for your tire blowout case. Our team of experienced attorneys at Law Firm Memphis specialize in tire blowout and car accident cases and can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today!

I Hit A Parked Car – What Do I Do Now?

In some ways, if we are driving a moving vehicle and we hit a parked car, we have a tendency to be embarrassed. After all, the parked car didn’t move and you hitting it could easily have been avoidable and preventable. Believe it or not, hitting a parked car is much more common than you think, so you are not the only “bad” driver in town.

A Parked Car Gets In Our Way!

A recent study revealed that almost 7 in 10 “hit-and-run” accidents in America involve a parked car. Should you find yourself hitting a parked car because it jumped out in your path, there are things you can do to ensure that the accident is handled properly.

The accident itself is not a crime, but fleeing the scene can put you in criminal crosshairs. Even if the car is parked, much of what you need to do is similar to you getting in an accident with another moving vehicle – it’s all about collecting information.

What to Do If You Hit a Parked Car

If the owner of the parked car is not readily available, wait by the vehicle for a period of time, and prepare a note.  It is always best to try to make direct contact with the owner when you can so you can explain everything. While you are waiting, take some photos of both vehicles, especially in the area of impact, and take photos of the license plates.

While it may be embarrassing, it is important to locate witnesses and have them put down brief statements as to what they saw, and get names and contact information. If there is significant damage to either vehicle, it would be wise to call the police and file a report of the accident.

If the owner of the parked car does not appear after a certain period of time, leave a note on the windshield with only this information – your name, contact information, your address and a brief explanation of the accident (do not go into the circumstances of the accident, just state what happened). You may leave insurance information if you like, but you are not required to do so.

Contact your insurance company and report the accident, with as much detail as possible – date, time, the location of the accident, the description and/or the license plate number of the car you hit, etc. Do not get into causes or reasons for the accident, just focus on the accident itself and what happened.

Don’t Leave Your Rights Parked

Just because you might be embarrassed by hitting a parked car, does not mean that your fault implies that you give up your rights. As long as you are forthcoming in noting the accident and you either make contact with the driver or leave a note,  your local Memphis personal-injury attorney should be by your side to consult you on your rights and responsibilities so you have a reasonable settlement of liability. Don’t put your rights in park just because you’re at fault. Contact us at Memphis Law Firm today.

Who Can Be Held Liable In A Construction Zone Accident?

If you have recently found yourself involved in a construction zone accident, then you likely have many questions regarding the legal claims you can make, particularly if you feel like you are owed compensation for any personal injury you’ve suffered as a result of the accident.

In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at the general subject of construction zone accidents, and you’ll also find a detailed answer regarding who can be held liable in construction zone accidents and why. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look.

First of all, it’s worth defining what construction zone accidents usually involve so you know whether the situation you have found yourself in constitutes as one.

In general, construction accidents can include anything from uneven lanes, open holes, construction debris that’s left on the road, improperly marked lanes, poor construction vehicle maintenance, or even construction equipment malfunctioning in some manner.

However, it’s also safe to say that there are many rules and regulations which construction crews need to follow in order to cause minimal impact on the surrounding population, yet mistakes can and do happen, such as incorrect caution signs, poorly display traffic signage, general negligence, and more. If the proper rules haven’t been followed, then there’s a good chance they may be held liable for the accident in some way.

Of course, the construction zone staff may dispute any claim you have when it comes to mistakes they’ve made, but it’s always worth getting in touch with a qualified attorney who can look into your case directly and use their skills and insight to determine whether you likely have a successful claim on your hands.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to say whether your case is likely to win or not without having an expert look at the details, but there are certainly numerous cases of construction zone accidents occurring, claims being made, and successful compensation fees being collected every day.

If you believe you have been involved in a construction zone accident, then the first thing to do is to note down as much information about the incident as possible, as well as gather any relevant evidence such as photographs of the scene.

Furthermore, make sure to take note of any medical attention you have sought as a result of injuries caused by the accident. It’s also very important to make your claim as soon as possible, as you may be subject to a statute of limitations in some circumstances.

At the end of the day, it’s clear to see construction zone accidents are surprisingly common affairs, and if you have been involved in an accident and incurred injury as a result of the negligence caused by construction zone staff, then you have every right to contact a personal injury attorney and have your claim assessed by a skilled and knowledgeable professional.

One important thing to keep in mind is that construction companies have comprehensive insurance policies in place to protect the crew against legitimate construction zone accidents and the resulting claims they can lead to, so you have every right to claim what you deserve if you’ve been impacted in any way.

If you would like to learn the common causes of some of these accidents, please watch the video below:

If you have been injured in a construction zone accident, please do not hesitate and contact us today.