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New Study Shows Tesla Autopilot Increases Dangerous Driving Habits

September 20, 2021

According to a new study that utilized MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology, Tesla's Autopilot is causing a remarkable increase in distracted driving when Autopilot is activated.  According to a previous report on, MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology's lab is currently conducting a long-term study analyzing the impact of Tesla Autopilot.

Lex Fridman, known for appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience, was leading the study.  The study is recording the Autopilot drives of Model X and Model S owners for approximately 500,000 miles.  Recording the data helps the researchers understand how drivers interact with the Tesla Autopilot features.  The data has helped a team of MIT researchers publish a new study that looks at the driving behavior around Tesla Autopilot disengagement.  This study discovered that Autopilot drivers tended to pay attention to nondriving-related things for longer when Autopilot is turned on.  The study found that the drivers looked at the center screen more often. 

Tesla now released quarterly "safety reports," which the automaker uses to assert that Tesla vehicles with Autopilot turned on have "close to 10x lower chances of being involved in an accident than the average car."

However, this analysis of its data is being disputed.  Drivers typically use Tesla's Autopilot features for highway driving, and accidents are more prevalent on undivided roads and city roads than on highways.

One fear is that Tesla drivers will become less careful and become too complacent while using the Autopilot features. 

It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education.  Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway.  Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries.  To learn about our Don't Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.