Study: Tesla Drivers Have Highest Accident Rate, BMW Drivers Have Highest DUI Rate

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Filed under Automotive, BMW, News, Tesla

A recent study conducted by LendingTree has revealed that Tesla drivers in the United States experienced a higher rate of accidents compared to drivers of other vehicle brands in the past year. The study, which analyzed data from 30 automotive brands based on quotes from individuals seeking insurance for their vehicles, excluded incidents involving rental cars.

According to the study, Tesla drivers had the highest accident rate, with 24 accidents per 1,000 drivers from mid-November 2022 to mid-November 2023. This rate surpassed other brands, such as Ram and Subaru, whose drivers experienced around 23 and 21 accidents per 1,000 drivers, respectively, during the same period. On the other end of the spectrum, Pontiac, Mercury, and Saturn drivers were involved in fewer than 10 accidents per 1,000 drivers.

The study acknowledged the difficulty in pinpointing the reasons behind varying accident rates among different brands but suggested that certain vehicle types might attract riskier drivers.

In addition to accident rates, the study also delved into driving incidents, including DUIs, speeding, and other citations. BMW drivers emerged with the highest DUI rate, being involved in approximately three DUIs per 1,000 drivers annually. This rate was twice as high as that of Ram drivers, who ranked second in terms of DUI incidents.

The findings revealed that Ram drivers had the highest overall incident rate, considering accidents, DUIs, speeding, and other citations. Tesla drivers followed closely behind, ranking second in overall incident rates.

The study emphasized the potential impact of such incidents on insurance rates. It noted that a single speeding ticket could increase insurance prices by 10% to 20%, accidents by around 40%, and DUIs by 60% or more.

The report coincided with a recent Autopilot software recall by Tesla in the U.S. affecting approximately 2 million electric vehicles. Tesla’s vehicles come equipped with an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) known as Autopilot, and the company offers additional driver assistance packages, including Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) options. However, the study did not directly correlate the accident rates to Tesla’s Autopilot system.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously claimed that a Tesla driver using Autopilot is about 10 times less likely to crash than the average car driver. However, the study did not verify or debunk such claims, as Tesla has not allowed third-party researchers to evaluate their safety data.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a two-year investigation and found safety defects in Tesla’s Autosteer feature, part of Autopilot and FSD, which could lead to an increased risk of collision. Tesla did not fully agree with the NHTSA’s findings but committed to a voluntary software recall and safety improvements.


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