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Tesla’s New Safety Report Suggests Autopilot Makes For A Much Safer Car

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla releases a new Vehicle Safety Report that claims its EVs are safer than the average vehicle on US roads.
  • Autopilot-equipped Teslas reportedly travel 7.63 million miles for every crash in Q1 2024.
  • The automaker has also released statistics regarding vehicle fires; Tesla vehicles are less likely to burst into flames than the average vehicle, says report.

Tesla claims to make some of the safest cars in the world, with all of its EVs – from the small Model 3 to the largest Model X – boasting sophisticated active and passive safety technology. However, its Autopilot and Full-Self Driving systems have been involved in myriad crashes, casting doubts over the brand’s claim. New data published by the automaker claims that its cars are safer than the average vehicle in the United States.

Tesla uses an unusual metric, measuring vehicle safety over “miles driven per one accident.” The latest figures (Q1 2024) show that the United States average is lower than that of Tesla vehicles without Autopilot. Both pale in comparison to Tesla vehicles fitted with Autopilot. So, how does this work?

2024 Tesla Model 3






271 hp


310 lb-ft


Single Speed Automatic

Here’s What The Figures Say

Tesla recorded one crash (in Q1 2024) for every 7.63 million miles driven while Autopilot technology was in use. The figure for vehicles without Autopilot was one crash for every 955,000 miles driven. The company notes it used the latest data from the NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration to show that, in the United States, a car crash occurred every 670,000 miles.

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Q4 2019 is the poorest-performing quarter for Tesla cars with Autopilot, with one crash recorded for every 3.11 million miles traveled. Still, it’s far superior to the average vehicle in the USA from Q3 2018 and Q1 2024. While Autopilot has many benefits (when used safely), there are several things the study doesn’t consider. Whereas Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving can be used in urban and city driving, Tesla does not recommend using Autopilot in the same circumstances.

Tesla Safety Report

And What About Vehicle Fires?

Therefore, it’s safe to assume Autopilot is mostly being used on highways and other long-distance roads where it is best suited. The study doesn’t claim to account for this. Add in the fact that the figures for the average car in the United States were calculated using crashes on all sorts of roads: highways, city streets, country lanes, and dirt tracks. Still, it is impressive to see what a difference Autopilot makes when operated appropriately.


Tesla Autopilot Under Investigation – Again

NHTSA has opened a new probe into the safety of this driver assistance technology.

Electric vehicles have a bad rap for fires, with many claiming they are more susceptible to bursting into flames. This has been widely disputed, and it turns out that an ICE-powered car is far more likely to ignite. “Our global data indicates that, between 2012 and 2022, approximately one Tesla vehicle fire event occurred for every 130 million vehicle miles traveled. By comparison, data from the NFPA [National Fire Protection Association] and the US Department of Transportation indicate that one vehicle fire occurs in the United States for every 18 million miles traveled.” It would be interesting to see how the brand compares to other marques, not just an average of all vehicles in the US. Brands like Mercedes-Benz and Volvo would likely be able to give Tesla a run for its money.

Tesla Safety Report, vehicle fires

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