Elon Musk Offers Perspective on Traffic Deaths in Response to Tesla Police Car Crash

Elon Musk took to Twitter to share the statistics of traffic deaths from previous years.
Loukia Papadopoulos
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Elon Musk took to Twitter to respond today to recent news that a California Tesla driving on Autopilot crashed into a parked police car. The outspoken CEO shared a link to a Google search for “automotive deaths per year worldwide” with the words “Just for perspective.”

1.25 million traffic deaths worldwide in 2010

Clicking on the link will reveal an entry stating: “According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.25 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010. That is, one person is killed every 25 seconds.”


Other entries include a link from Allianz stating traffic accidents are the number one cause of worldwide deaths among youths and a World Economic Forum link with the countries of most and least traffic deaths. The overall message seems to be that traffic accidents have long been common before the introduction of Tesla's Autopilot software.

This message would be in line with Musk’s previous statements. When discussing the first Autopilot crash in Utah, Musk said that “it’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage.”

Twitter users agree

For the most part, his followers seem to be in agreement. Some posted stories of accidents they had been in they said would have been avoided with a Tesla while others complained about the media's habit of using scare tactics.

Twitter users even went so far as to call the media "witch hunters" and requested that they stop attacking Musk and Tesla. The posters seemed convinced that Autopilot actually saves lives.

Some people did explore the other side of the argument saying it might be good to keep the cars off the road till more studies are done. However, the overwhelming responses seemed to be in favor of Musk's views.

This month saw two US rights groups send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission demanding the body investigate Tesla over the marketing of their "Autopilot" software. The groups claimed the Autopilot name was "deceptive and misleading."

"The marketing and advertising practices of Tesla, combined with Elon Musk's public statements, have made it reasonable for Tesla owners to believe, and act on that belief, that a Tesla with Autopilot is an autonomous vehicle capable of 'self-driving'," said the Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog in the letter.

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