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Autopilot, Crash and Insurance - Who at Fault?

SirRobin

New Member
Aug 23, 2018
2
0
America
Has anyone on here dealt with a crash while on autopilot and how competing insurance companies decided fault?

In my situation, I was in autopilot in the left lane going about 30 miles an hour in heavy traffic. In the lane on my right, an SUV pulling a long trailer attempted a lane change into my lane. When he got a few feet into my lane there was a collision before I had a chance to react to his encroachment. Luckily no one was hurt. The impact was to my passenger side bumper (not on the front of the bumper but only the side), front tire and there was a second impact near my rear wheel. His damage was to his passenger side front tire and inside of his front bumper. The other driver admits they were attempting a lane change but that I ran drizzly into them.

My insurance company believes it is 100% his fault for entering my lane improperly when it was not clear and they say the evidence shows the other driver initiated the collision because all of the damage was to the side of my car and not the front. The other driver's insurance says it is 100% my fault for running directly into them while they were in my lane.

Anyone have insight on how this could be decided? I am in a comparative fault state. It sounds like we will be going to arbitration. Also, does anyone think getting data from the EDR would help my case and should I spend $1000 on a Tesla EDR Retrieval Hardware Kit?
 

SamT

Member
Oct 16, 2014
163
92
Northern Virginia
Sorry to hear about your accident. Few years ago, I was t-bone by a teenager who run a red light, he claimed I ran a red light. It's my word against his. Luckily, I had a witness and the teenager was given a ticket, his insurance paid for my car. From then on, I have a dash cam on all my cars, if I have an accident again, I have something to proof who's at fault. I have front and back dash cam on my model 3 now, just to protect my self.
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,357
2,750
Redmond, WA
Autopilot and similar systems are all currently only level 2 driver assistance features. The car is not driving, the human is. This will change as higher-level systems become available.

But as RichardD noted, autopilot or not doesn't seem to be the issue here. It sure sounds like the other driver is at fault, but of course their insurance company is going to try to get out if it. And even if their driver did something wrong, if you did not take reasonable steps to avoid it (assuming there was time to react and somewhere for you to go; something hard to prove after the fact without video) they might still be able to put some of the blame on you.

Good luck. The insurance claims system is not set up to be entertaining or convenient for the consumer.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,224
7,917
Visalia, CA
...insight...

Autopilot is beta so if there's something happening while you are using it, you are responsible. Autopilot is not advanced enough to deal with complex scenarios such as your case of merging and cars cutting you off in front.

So now, it's either your fault or the other one. This is my take:

There are 2 factors:

1) Whenever the other car changes lane, it needs to make sure it is safe to do so. It also means it needs to yield if changing lane is unsafe. In this case, it is at fault.

2) You need to keep a safe distance so you don't collide with a car in front. If the other car is completely in your lane (that means it is not straddling between 2 lanes) then you are at fault for not keeping a safe distance.

However, in this case, the forensic evidence shows that the damages of both cars are not at the dead center.

If the damages of both cars are located at the center of bumpers then it can be assumed that the car in front was completely in one single lane in front of you and you did not keep a safe distance which should be your fault.

Since the damages show that they are on the sides of both cars, it means that the other car didn't yield and performed a lane change in an unsafe manner which will be the other car's fault.

So if the other car wanted to cut you off, make sure it had a Performance Model so it could get into the lane quickly then presented the damages that they are not at the sides but at the center and could blame you for not keeping a safe distance.

If that's the case, you'll need a dash cam to show its reckless driving that there's no way to keep a safe distance from a Performance Model.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,641
6,417
Snohomish, WA
My suggestion for anyone reading this is not to even mention autopilot or any other driver assist package when talking to insurance. It's all L2 stuff right now so you're the one responsible, and there is no good reason to complicate it.

As to this accident I think it's clear that the other driver was 100% at fault. You're talking about someone to the side of you, and behind you.

Plus the Model S is so wide that it's not like there is a lot of empty space in the lane.

I find the other parties claim a little silly. It's like being physically assaulted, and then told that you ran into the punch.

It's also really ridiculous because we're not talking about a hard driving maneuver. Just how hard is it to change lanes to the left, and not run into the BACK corner of somehow. The driver should be dead of embarrassment.
 

Electroman

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 18, 2012
6,351
6,652
TX
Don't even bring Autopilot into this discussion. This is only going to create more confusion and the other party is going to take a even more hard stand. Any arbitration then will most likely fault you.

Autopilot or not is irrelevant. You are driving and are in charge.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,705
8,049
Seattle area, WA
This is why I believe in having dashcams in all our cars. They are like airbags, you hope to never need to use them. Sadly we already had to use both airbags and the dashcam on one of our Teslas already - the footage was crucial in a very fast and decisive determination of fault.
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,496
9,788
Drammen, Norway
Agree with other posters - autopilot has noe legal implications; you're driving the car at all times from a legal standpoint and is 100% responsible for how the car drives. With that said the question here becomes whether the lane change was performed correctly or not. I don't see how it's possible for your car to get damage to the passenger side if the car you hit had performed the lane change and was in your lane - in that case the damage would be to the front of your car. So in my view the other car must have hit the side of your care while changing lanes.
 

KarenRei

ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ
Jul 18, 2017
9,619
103,836
Iceland
I wonder if they brought up AP as a way to ask about whether there's any logs that could prove that they were in the right?
 

SirRobin

New Member
Aug 23, 2018
2
0
America
Has anyone on here dealt with a crash while on autopilot and how competing insurance companies decided fault?

In my situation, I was in autopilot in the left lane going about 30 miles an hour in heavy traffic. In the lane on my right, an SUV pulling a long trailer attempted a lane change into my lane. When he got a few feet into my lane there was a collision before I had a chance to react to his encroachment. Luckily no one was hurt. The impact was to my passenger side bumper (not on the front of the bumper but only the side), front tire and there was a second impact near my rear wheel. His damage was to his passenger side front tire and inside of his front bumper. The other driver admits they were attempting a lane change but that I ran drizzly into them.

My insurance company believes it is 100% his fault for entering my lane improperly when it was not clear and they say the evidence shows the other driver initiated the collision because all of the damage was to the side of my car and not the front. The other driver's insurance says it is 100% my fault for running directly into them while they were in my lane.

Anyone have insight on how this could be decided? I am in a comparative fault state. It sounds like we will be going to arbitration. Also, does anyone think getting data from the EDR would help my case and should I spend $1000 on a Tesla EDR Retrieval Hardware Kit?




Sorry for confusion. His damage was to driver side.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,414
3,400
Phoenix, AZ
I wouldn't talk about Autopilot if I were you. If the other driver were even remotely intelligent and knew you were using Autopilot, he would say that Autopilot threw you into his lane. The vast amounts of media reports and evidence just in this forum would be enough to support the assertion that this is rather common behavior. You're doing yourself a disservice by involving Autopilot.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,490
1,241
USA
Good luck.

These sort of arguments are what convinced me to buy a dash cam...

There is no way to tell from the damage if you moved right or the other driver moved left. That leaves you relying on their honesty or an eyewitness willing to stop, or a dash cam...
 

Russell

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Sep 25, 2012
920
703
Silicon Valley
"When he got a few feet into my lane there was a collision before I had a chance to react to his encroachment."

It's the other driver's fault. Period.
They attempted to make the lane change when it wasn't safe to do so.
 

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