Tesla owners who also drive another vehicle are 50% less likely to have an accident in their Tesla compared to in their other vehicles, according to an interesting new study looking at EV drivers who drive multiple vehicles.
The study is coming from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, which collects telematics data from millions of vehicles.
At the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Charging Into an Electrified Future Conference this week, the group released findings from a study of how behaviors and safety change for electric vehicle drivers when they drive their EVs compared to any other vehicle.
Interestingly, EV drivers are much less likely to crash in their EV than in their other vehicles, but there’s a big discrepancy between brands.
For example, the study found that Tesla owners are about 50% less likely to crash their EV than any other vehicle they operate while it’s the opposite for Porsche EV owners.
Ryan McMahon, VP of strategy for CMT, commented on the findings:
Among the most compelling new findings are the comparisons between drivers who operate both an electric vehicle and an internal combustion vehicle, allowing for a better understanding of risk across vehicle platforms. These findings include an analysis of Tesla drivers who also operate another vehicle. These drivers are nearly 50% less likely to crash while driving their Tesla than any other vehicle they operate. We conducted the same analysis on individuals who operate a Porsche and another vehicle. In this case, we observed the opposite effect. Porsche drivers are 55% more likely to crash while driving their Porsche compared to their other vehicle.
There could be a lot of different reasons for why this would happen and a few of them are supported by data. Cambridge Mobile Telematics also found that people driving Teslas were 21% less likely to engage in distracted driving with their phone in their Tesla compared to when they drove their other car.
They were 9% less likely to drive above the speed limit.
The group also had another theory – though less verifiable (via the Boston Globe):
“Another factor could be the required stops for recharging electric cars. Accidents are more likely on longer trips, but Tesla drivers have to stop and recharge more frequently and for a longer time than gas car drivers stop to refuel, McMahon said. “That could create safer conditions for driving because of fatigue,” he said. “Longer trips are riskier, but there are breaks in the trip from an EV that require people to stop.”
Cambridge Mobile Telematics didn’t try to account for the impact of Tesla’s Autopilot, which includes a suite of collision avoidance features.
In its quarterly safety report, Tesla claims that its fleet accident rate on Autopilot is much lower than without Autopilot.
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