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Does Your Tesla Make You A More Aggressive Driver?

AB4EJ

Member
Feb 25, 2015
775
394
Tuscaloosa, AL
Recently there was a podcast and article from Freakonomics which mentioned the Peltzman Effect, which suggests that when people have equipment that makes their activity safer, they tend to compensate by using it in a less safe manner. Examples were given, that football players tend to hit and tackle much harder when they have better helmets. I have noticed that the typical speeds of vehicles on Interstate highways have crept up over the years, as people feel safer because of all the safety features in their cars.

I started to wonder if the Tesla's stellar safety ratings have this effect. Also, the Tesla's low center of gravity and tight handling give it the feel of a sports car, even though it is a heavy, full-size sedan.


  • If you have a Tesla, do you find that you tend to drive it more aggressively that other cars you have owned?
  • Have you gotten more tickets for speeding or other aggressive driving than in other cars?

With a little research, it should be possible to find out if the number of tickets per vehicle with Tesla varies significantly from the average, or at least from ICE cars.

I know in my own case (with a LEAF), I found the car to be so quiet that I have to drive with one eye glued to the speedometer, because I have less speed cues than with ICE cars; I put a radar detector in, because constantly watching the speedometer is a distraction in itself. Is this a cautionary note with EVs in general?

Please discuss.
 

wayner

Active Member
Oct 29, 2014
3,888
1,479
Toronto
I drive more aggressively in some ways - if I am at a stoplight in my P85D in the curb lane and I have to quickly accelerate to pass into the left lane I know that the there is no chance that the car beside me can keep up. I also probably give test drives about every week where I let people experience the "Insane Launch" (soon to be upgraded to Ludicrous). Or the kids demand the launch:smile:
 

jpet

Jan P.
Aug 8, 2014
3,288
203
Herne & Leuven, BE
On average, I drive slower than before because it is a fun game to try to get more range out of it. Given the insane acceleration, it is of course not your regular car if you push it. So, when it itches and you go insane, you are pretty much immediately above the speed limit. The safety of the car does not play a major role in this. It's a P85D and you need to let the beast loose once in a while. :scared: No tickets so far...
 

AB4EJ

Member
Feb 25, 2015
775
394
Tuscaloosa, AL
There was a thread a while ago about someone getting pulled over for doing a hot start in front of a cop. Some jurisdictions might consider this drag racing. My comment was that aggressive driving around the police tells them that you are under the influence and have to be checked for that.

On the other hand, I hadn't thought about the offsetting tendency to think about how expensive a car this is, and drive more carefully so as not to wreck it; but this might wear off after you get used to the car.
 

LetsGoFast

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,329
101
Virginia
I am more "aggressive" in certain situations. There is an intersection on my daily commute where there are four lanes at a traffic light and the road narrrows to two lanes in about a half mile. The apparent local custom is that it is ok to occupy the three leftmost lanes, but occupying the very rightmost lane at the light is not acceptable. Very few cars ever pull up to that lane at a red light, unless there is a tractor-trailer in the third lane. I will use that lane if it is empty any time I come up the red and the other lanes are occupied, because there is a 100% certainty that I can be so far ahead of every other car at the merge point that they will hardly even see me, much less be impeded in any way.

On the other hand, I tend to drive with TACC engaged at a 3-4 setting on the interstate which means I leave more room in front of me that I would have done previously and I'm much more chill about going with the traffic flow instead of pulling close behind people who are going "too slow" in the left lane. I'm also much more vigilent about staying in the middle of my lane and not edging to one side or the other, because I'm determined to keep that stupid lane warning quiet.

I seem to get fewer tickets, primarily because the Tesla looks much less like a sports car than other cars I've driven. I also didn't put a front license plate on my previous car and averaged about six months between tickets for that offense. I'm on 8 months with the P85D and have yet to get a ticket or even a sideways glance.
 

sandpiper

Active Member
Sep 25, 2014
2,833
2,322
Ontario, Canada
Recently there was a podcast and article from Freakonomics which mentioned the Peltzman Effect, which suggests that when people have equipment that makes their activity safer, they tend to compensate by using it in a less safe manner. Examples were given, that football players tend to hit and tackle much harder when they have better helmets. I have noticed that the typical speeds of vehicles on Interstate highways have crept up over the years, as people feel safer because of all the safety features in their cars.

I started to wonder if the Tesla's stellar safety ratings have this effect. Also, the Tesla's low center of gravity and tight handling give it the feel of a sports car, even though it is a heavy, full-size sedan.


  • If you have a Tesla, do you find that you tend to drive it more aggressively that other cars you have owned?
  • Have you gotten more tickets for speeding or other aggressive driving than in other cars?

With a little research, it should be possible to find out if the number of tickets per vehicle with Tesla varies significantly from the average, or at least from ICE cars.

I know in my own case (with a LEAF), I found the car to be so quiet that I have to drive with one eye glued to the speedometer, because I have less speed cues than with ICE cars; I put a radar detector in, because constantly watching the speedometer is a distraction in itself. Is this a cautionary note with EVs in general?

Please discuss.

Less aggressive and way more defensive. I'm always aware that I'm sitting in a car that 3 times what I paid for any car that I've owned before!

I drive more like I drive on a motorcycle. I really watch what's happening ahead of me and try to anticipate issues.
 

LetsGoFast

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,329
101
Virginia
I drive more defensively, since the MS is more quite than my Porsche and other cars beside me may not always shoulder check.

I am much more cautious in residential neighborhoods for this reason. I can't count the number of times I've startled pedestrians walking on the right side of the road or that animals darted right in front of me because they didn't hear me coming.
 
I also would like to plead the 5th. ;)

3rd!

schizo -
aggressive defensive
sideways or slow & mello
I leave spaces for cars to merge but take pole position at stop lights

- - - Updated - - -

I am much more cautious in residential neighborhoods for this reason. I can't count the number of times I've startled pedestrians walking on the right side of the road or that animals darted right in front of me because they didn't hear me coming.

and 2 foot driving because left foot braking is way quicker when there is potential for people not to hear or even look at you
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,080
1,331
SF Bay Area, CA
With great power comes great control....funny, I think that I actually drive in a more controlled fashion, knowing that I have the resources to get out of trouble in a hurry if I need to. Not worried if my old ICE would spool up and the transmission downshift in time.
 

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