Tag: car accident

Tesla Leads Driver-Assist Crashes in the US

As vehicle technology evolves, consumers are looking toward a future where cars do most of the work when it comes to driving. Tesla leads the market in self-driving vehicle production and advancements. That also means they take the lead when it comes to driver-assist related crashes.

According to Tesla, standard Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system that is supposed to enhance safety and convenience behind the wheel. However, Tesla vehicles account for approximately 70 percent of reported driver-assist related crashes, according to federal studies.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 273 accidents out of 392 driver assist related accidents involved a Tesla model. While Tesla had the most accidents by far, it is also the most popular, and therefore has the most vehicles with such technology on the road.

There were 6 fatalities reported in the data from the NHTSA, including 5 deaths related to Tesla vehicles and a pedestrian hit by one of their self-driving cars. The crash related property damage, personal injury, and deaths, have prompted federal officials to launch investigations.

These investigations have found Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance system, Autopilot, to shut down seconds before most crashes. Autopilot has been tied to fatal car crashes in Florida and California, but it’s suspected that failure of the system is responsible for even more deaths.

Most likely, there are hundreds of accidents that go unattributed to Tesla driver-assist failure, such as fender-benders or crashes caused by the autopark system failing, which is supposed to maneuver the vehicle into a parking space by controlling its speed, gear changes, and steering angle.

Then there are the more serious accidents, where vehicles catch fire due to uncontrolled contacts between different materials contained within the batteries that power the Tesla vehicles. These fires can lead to explosions resulting in even more catastrophic results

If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a Tesla model and are unsure who is at fault, contact our Bay Area auto accident lawyer to help you gather valuable information to help your case, so you can get the full compensation you deserve.

Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, maintains that his vehicles are safer than the traditional cars on the road. He has tweeted that Tesla models running with the Autopilot feature have approximately 10 times lower chance of being involved in an accident than the average.

However, it should be noted that drivers must maintain control over their vehicles at all times, even when in Autopilot. In one Instance in 2016, a driver was killed when his Tesla failed to brake for a tractor-trailer truck making a left turn smashing into the semi-truck at full speed.

In another accident in 2021, a Tesla vehicle ignored a red light and crashed into a large tractor-trailer truck which dragged the vehicle for a considerable distance before coming to a stop. Fortunately, the driver and passengers survived the crash, but it could have been much worse.

Because the studies are so new, it is difficult to say whether or not the vehicles’ systems are responsible for the crashes or if it’s a matter of operator error. Tesla clearly states that Autopilot allows vehicles to steer, accelerate, and brake on their own, but it does not make the vehicles autonomous.

Proving PTSD after a Car Accident Claim

When it comes to car accidents, physical injuries are often the first thing that comes to mind. However, these events can also leave lasting emotional and mental damage ranging from mild emotional distress all the way to diagnosable Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In fact, the American Psychological Association states that car accidents are the leading cause of PTSD for non-military Americans. Emotional and mental damage are equally as debilitating as the physical injuries one suffers in accident but can be more difficult to diagnose. Here’s how to prove you have PTSD after your car accident claim.

Diagnosing PTSD

You’ll need your primary care physician to help you diagnose this condition before you can prove it to your insurance company or in court. However, it’s up to you to watch out for the signs and symptoms. Knowing the red flags of PTSD is the first step in getting help. They are:

·         Anxiety over being inside a vehicle

·         Nightmares about getting into accidents

·         Recurring flashbacks about the accident

·         Insomnia

·         Sudden irritability

·         High blood pressure

·         Fatigue and body aches

·         Feeling “jumpy”

·         Difficulty working or concentrating

Showing Proof

With your symptoms identified, the next step is to visit your doctor for a diagnosis. If you’re working with legal aid, like this car accident lawyer in San Francisco, then you may want to talk to them first. A lawyer can recommend a doctor or specialist for you that will get you the proof and help you need.

From there, the challenge is getting your insurance company to work with you. These companies are notorious for covering the least amount of damages possible after an accident, which makes proving PTSD after a car accident claim difficult. To do so, your lawyer will need to prove the following:

·         The other driver’s owed you a duty of care and failed to do so

·         The other driver was acting negligently or carelessly

·         Psychological trauma led to lost wages, pain, and suffering

·         Your PTSD symptoms are a direct result of the car accident

Your insurance company will want to see your medical history, which your lawyer will help you gather and provide. Expect your insurer to use any prior mental illness against your claim. While it is unfortunate, especially on top of your emotional distress, your legal aid will help you fight your case.

Seeking Help

While it’s vital that you gain the financial compensation you’re entitled to, it’s equally as important that you address your PTSD and seek psychological help. Unlike physical injuries, PTSD isn’t something that heals on its own.

After your diagnosis, your doctor or lawyer can recommend psychological professionals. Therapy and counseling are the most useful tools for overcoming PTSD and its symptoms. This condition is one you have to work through, one step at a time, until you regain control over your mind and your life.

On the plus side, proving your PTSD to your insurer and in court will ensure that your treatment is paid for and that can you recover any lost wages from time off work. It might be a long road ahead, but seeking the compensation you deserve makes it that much easier.

Top cars that are almost self driving

The idea of self-driving cars is quickly becoming a reality. However, fully autonomous vehicles are still a way off. Experts are working on developing better AI technology in combination with GPS and camera systems, but this process is going to take a few years to work out. In the meantime, these are the top cars that get as close to self-driving as possible. 

Levels of Autonomy

First, it’s essential to understand the varying levels of autonomy drivers can expect. Regular cars without any assistive features count as level 0, while level 1 cars include assistive technology ranging from braking to steering. 

Level 2 can control both steering and speed at the same time, but only for short periods without driver intervention. Level 3 cars are fully autonomous in most systems, but they rely on driver assistance to complete their tasks. Reaching level 4, a vehicle only needs the destination put in. A driver can still take over control of the vehicle, but doesn’t have to. 

At level 5, absolutely no driver intervention is necessary for the vehicle to complete its tasks. If you suffered damages after a serious car accident, it’s easy to see how these levels of autonomy can help in reducing the number of crashes across the world. For now, however, most vehicles never pass level 3. 

2019 Toyota RAV 4

Coming in at just over $25,500, the RAV 4 has always been a popular choice from Toyota. In 2019, however, this model received the Safety Sense 2.0 pre-collision system and a redesign. It’s autonomous features include:

  • Pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road sign detection
  • And lane tracing assist

2019 Nissan Leaf

At just under $35,000, the Leaf is Nissan’s flagship for new technologies. Outside of the base model, each comes with the option to add the company’s semi-autonomous driver assistance package. These features include ProPilot:

  • Steering assistance
  • Acceleration
  • Braking
  • Front-facing cameras and sensors

2019 Tesla Model 3

It’s hard to talk about self-driving cars without mentioning Tesla. While their Model S remains one of the best on the market, the Model 3 comes at a much more affordable price and is still packed with features. Driver assistance technology includes:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning 
  • Side collision warning
  • The Enhanced Autopilot system which steers, accelerates, brakes, and changes lanes

2020 Volvo XC60

Volvo has long been known for investing in the latest tech, but the XC60 pushes the envelope yet again. This compact SUV includes a plethora of advanced features as a standard, as well as an optional Pilot Assist system that can help accelerate, brake, and steer. Standard features include:

  • Scanning for imminent collision risks 
  • Pedestrian, cyclist, and large animal detection
  • Brake assist
  • Evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions
  • Alerting drivers who are not fully awake

2019 BMW 5 Series

The prestige of BMW now comes with advanced features in the 5 Series model. Standard equipment includes adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and front and rear parking sensors. Upgrade to the 540i trim to receive key fob parking assistance for use outside the vehicle and Traffic Jam Assist that allows the car to cruise in a stop-and-go fashion.