TikTok is warning viewers about the dangerous driving of some Tesla owners posting videos on its app while their cars are in Autopilot mode.
The move comes after one such driver died in a car crash in Fontana, California. More than two dozen accidents involving Teslas are currently under investigation. The accidents, paired with the reckless behavior being posted online by drivers, have people concerned about how Tesla has advertised its semi-autonomous vehicles.
Learn more about the crash, TikTok’s response to the videos, the fears surrounding Tesla’s self-driving mode, and how to make sure your car insurance covers this type of accident below.
TikTok isn’t taking any chances with how people view autopilot videos | Twenty20
The details of the crash
A man crashed a Tesla Model 3 into an overturned truck on May 3. The driver died from his injuries. Reuters says the owner of the truck and a good Samaritan who had stopped to help him were also injured in the collision.
Reports are unclear whether the Tesla’s “Self-Driving” mode was engaged at the time of the crash, but two videos on TikTok show the alleged victim, 35-year-old Steven Hendrickson of Running Springs, California, driving his Tesla with his hands off the wheel.
“What would I do without my full self-driving Tesla after a long day at work,” said a message on one. “Coming home from LA after work, thank god, self-drive,” said a comment on another video, adding, “Best car ever!”
TikTok’s response to the controversial videos
TikTok showing that it cares more about human life than Elon Musk by now tagging Autopilot videos with a statement that serious injury is possible by taking actions shown in the video. pic.twitter.com/livGjC5haF
Hendrickson is not the only one who boasted about his new car’s capabilities on TikTok. A troubling number of videos were posted on the app showing drivers using the autopilot feature recklessly.
TikTok has begun tagging these videos, posting a warning at the bottom of the screen that reads, “The actions in this video could result in serious injury or adverse health effects.”
Screen Rant suggests that the videos shouldn’t remain on the app for long, since they clearly do not follow TikTok’s community guidelines which state the company “does not allow content that depicts, promotes, normalizes” dangerous acts.
The controversy over Tesla’s “Full Self-driving” features
Tesla says on its website that its Autopilot feature does not make the vehicle autonomous. But experts worry that labelling the features as “Autopilot” or “Full Self-driving” could mislead drivers into thinking that their cars are fully autonomous.
At least three Tesla vehicles operating on Autopilot have been in fatal crashes since the company began offering the feature in 2016. Screen Rant says the company’s in-car driver monitoring cameras could help curb drivers from using the technology unsafely and prevent the viral trend from spreading.
How to find insurance to cover you from reckless drivers
Whether they’re not holding the steering wheel of their Teslas or they’re swerving through traffic, we all know that reckless drivers are out there. Chances are, if you end up in an accident involving someone driving like this, they will be at-fault for the crash, and you’ll be covered by their liability insurance.
But not everyone has the same amount of liability insurance. For peace of mind, you might want a collision package, in case the person who caused the accident isn’t sufficiently covered.
If you’re shopping for car insurance, Jerry will generate competitive quotes from top providers in less than a minute. Jerry gathers your information from your past insurer, so you’re not responsible for any long forms or phone calls. Basically, you get all of the savings and coverage, with none of the hassle.