St. Louis Auto Accidents Involving Tesla’s Autopilot Feature

We are seeing more and more Tesla vehicles driving around our city lately, and as any St. Louis auto accident attorney knows, that means more people are using autopilot assistance. Despite how widespread it is becoming, many people do not understand what this feature does, how to use it, and what legal implications it has.

What Does Autopilot Do?

The secret to what autopilot does lie in its name. As you can see, it is not called “autonomous driving,” a term that would indicate that you can take your attention off the road when it is running. Instead, it carries out basic tasks like adjusting speed and hazard avoidance but still puts the safety responsibility on the driver. Tesla has made a point of saying over and over again that the person behind the wheel must monitor this feature, rather than letting it operate without supervision.

It's Usefulness

The optimal use of this feature is as highly advanced cruise control. What cruise control does is allow drivers to take their feet off the petals, as their car should keep traveling at the same speed no matter what. Tesla’s autopilot adds even more technology to that same idea, as it incorporates the ability to stay in your lane and slow down automatically if needed. Those that have this technology are free to use it in conditions where cruise control would apply: Optimal weather and low traffic.

When it is Dangerous

Using autopilot is much more dangerous when conditions worsen. The two you should worry about are wet weather and heavy traffic, both of which call for greater control over your vehicle. Additionally, you should adhere to all general safe driving practices when the autopilot feature is on.

Legal Notes

Despite autopilot being a powerful tool, it does not exempt you from following the law. The two behaviors that people run into the most trouble with are drinking and phone use. What happens is that they think they are free to be intoxicated or distracted because Tesla has the wheel. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to tickets and other legal troubles.

Any St. Louis auto accident attorney will tell you that the legality surroundings conventional collisions can be incredibly difficult to resolve. When you factor in a new feature, such as autopilot, these cases become even more complex. No matter what, if you’re hurt in a crash, you should talk to an experienced lawyer about your options. Whether your accident involved autopilot or not, doing so will improve your chances of a favorable result.

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