Footage of Tesla phantom braking causing 8-car crash pile-up emerges
Footage of the Tesla vehicle allegedly on “Full Self-Driving” that caused an eight-car crash pile-up in San Francisco in November has emerged.
It appears to show a classic case of phantom braking but also during Level 2 autonomy, the driver should have responded.
In November, an eight-car pile-up on the San Francisco Bay Bridge made the news after resulting in some minor injuries and blocking the traffic for over an hour.
But the headline was that the car that caused it was reportedly a “Tesla on self-driving mode,” or at least that’s what the driver told the police.
Now, as we know, Tesla does not have a “self-driving mode.” It has something it calls the “Full Self-Driving package,” which now includes Full Self-Driving Beta or FSD Beta.
FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times.
Since the responsibility rests with the driver and not Tesla’s system, it is still considered a level-two driver-assist system, despite its name.
Following the accident, the driver of the Tesla told the police that the vehicle was in “Full self-driving mode,” but the police seemed to understand the nuances in the accident report:
P-1 stated V-1 was in Full self-driving mode at the time of the crash, I am unable to verify if V-1’s Full 24 Self-Driving Capability was active at the time of the crash. On 11/24/2022, the latest Tesla Full Self 25 Driving Beta Version was 11 and is classified as SAE Intemational Level 2. SAE International Level2 is 26 not classified as an autonomous vehicle. Under Level 2 classification, the human in the driver seat must 27 constantly supervise support features including steering, braking, or accelerating as needed to maintain 28 safety. If the FullSelfDriving Capability software malfunctioned, P-1 should of manually taken control of 29 V-1 by over-riding the FullSelf Driving Capability feature.
Top comment by tripper
Was it phantom breaking, though? Phantom breaking does not trigger turn signals nor changes lane.
Isn't that the behaviour of Autopilot/FSD when the driver is inattentive for so long that the system disengages and tries to stop the car in a safe manner (which was obviously not safe in this situation).
Now The Intercept has obtained footage of the accident, and it clearly shows the Tesla vehicle abruptly coming to a stop for no apparent reason:
I obtained surveillance footage of the self-driving Tesla that abruptly stopped on the Bay Bridge, resulting in an eight-vehicle crash that injured 9 people including a 2 yr old child just hours after Musk announced the self-driving feature. Full story: https://t.co/LaEvX9TzxW pic.twitter.com/i75jSh2UpN — Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) January 10, 2023
This phenomenon is often referred to as “phantom braking,” and it has been known to happen relatively frequently on Tesla Autopilot and FSD Beta.
Back in November of 2021, Electrek released a report called “ Tesla has a serious phantom braking problem in Autopilot .” It highlighted a significant increase in Tesla owners reporting dangerous phantom braking events on Autopilot.
This issue was not new in Tesla’s Autopilot, but our report focused on Tesla drivers noticing an obvious increase in instances based on anecdotal evidence, but it was also backed by a clear increase in complaints to the NHTSA. Our report made the rounds in a few other outlets, but the issue didn’t really go mainstream until The Washington Post released a similar report in February 2022 . A few months later, NHTSA opened an investigation into the matter .
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What Is a Phantom Driver?
What is a phantom driver everything you need to know, quick summary, is the phantom driver liable for damages, can you seek compensation after a phantom car accident, 4 things to do if a phantom driver hits you, other things to keep in mind, do you need help following a phantom driver accident .
You may be entitled to recover compensation and our legal team can help. Please click the button below for a Free Consultation or call us toll-free 24 hrs/day for legal advice by dialing (866) 588-0600.
Filing an insurance claim can be challenging if you're the victim of a hit-and-run or another type of accident where you have limited information about who caused it.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer, I have worked on cases that involved phantom drivers' car accidents and gathered all the necessary information so that you will know how to handle this type of situation.
- Getting compensation without the proper evidence can be difficult if the phantom driver doesn't have insurance.
- Even if you have someone who saw what happened and evidence of the damage, the insurance company does not match up with what you said.
- Accidents caused by drivers who leave the scene are treated the same as accidents caused by drivers who stay at the scene.
Some phantom drivers aren't aware that they caused the accident and keep driving.
If the phantom driver leaves the scene, then they are usually unidentifiable. Any car accident that phantom drivers cause is treated the same as hit-and-run accidents--also known as a miss-and-run.
Yes, the phantom driver is liable for damages. If the phantom driver does not stop, and their actions are directly responsible for the car accident, they are the legally at-fault driver.
That means they would be responsible for any injuries or other accident damages. The problem is that you need identifying information to file an insurance claim with the phantom driver's insurance provider.
Related Article : What Should I Do if an Uninsured Driver Hits Me ?
If a phantom driver caused you to lose control of your vehicle in a hit-and-run accident and suffered injuries, you might be able to claim damages.
A car accident lawyer can help you find the phantom driver by evidence left at the crime scene.
Related Article: Car Accident Lawyer
If you find yourself in a no-contact crash caused by a phantom driver, call 911 and file a police report. If you've experienced any serious injuries, get medical attention immediately. While waiting for the police to arrive at the accident scene, here are some things you can do.
1. Write Down All Information
Make sure to write down as many details as you can remember about the crash and the other car, including but not limited to:
- The driver's appearance
- The make of their car
- The vehicle's license plate number
- Anything else that stands out. Also, be prepared to explain in detail how exactly they caused your accident.
2. Take Photos
If you can, take pictures of the car before they leave the scene. It can be beneficial to have visual documentation. Make sure to get shots of all the damage done to the vehicle and any personal injuries resulting from the collision.
3. Seek for and Talk to Witnesses
If there are witnesses, speak with them and ask about what they saw. They might have observed extra information about the at-fault driver you didn't notice.
4. Communicate Your Crash to Your Insurance
Generally, you have to speak with your car insurance provider about the phantom car accident within 24 hours. This will help make sure that your insurance claim is approved without any issues by your own insurance company.
- What to Do After An Accident Driving Someone Else’s Car ?
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Car Insurance Info
- How to Prove Innocence in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident ?
See all related personal injury and accident cases our lawyers have covered.
If the other driver who hit you is never found, don't worry. You may still be able to get compensated, but you need to know what your options are and what to expect.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage for a Phantom Driver Accident
Your own auto insurance company usually covers phantom car accidents caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. You are most likely protected if you have not explicitly opted out of this coverage.
The downside is that your own insurance provider might not cover your damages entirely, and you will need evidence to support your claim. Your insurer may also try to find ways to deny your claim or drag out the processing time.
Proving Your Accident Happened
To show that a phantom driver was the cause of your miss-and-run accident, you will need evidence in the form of the following:
- Testimonies from those who saw the accident happen.
- Any physical damage that your car has suffered from due to the accident.
Your insurance company and other insurers will do all they can to avoid paying an accident claim. If you seek UIM coverage through your insurer, aim to provide the most substantial evidence possible.
"Insurance companies will want to pay you as little as possible for your settlement. If they can get away with giving you nothing, they will. " - Mark Breyer, Attorney
How Do I Defend Myself If I Am Involved in a Phantom Vehicle Accident?
If you are involved in a phantom vehicle accident, you will need to defend yourself with the help of a personal injury attorney. This will ensure that your auto insurance carrier approves your claim.
How Do I File a Phantom Vehicle Claim?
To file a phantom vehicle claim, try to get a description of the other vehicle. This includes the color, make, model, and tag number. Stay at the scene until the police arrive. You will need an accident report filled out.
How Do I File A Phantom Vehicle Claim?
If you're in a no-contact accident involving a hit-and-run driver or if the other driver is uninsured, you may feel like you're facing an uphill battle.
Fortunately, the experienced car accident lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help guide you through this challenging time and get you on the path to full financial recovery in a free consultation.
Our personal injury lawyers your case and work tirelessly to help you get the best possible outcome so that you can focus on what's important: healing from your severe injuries.
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What to Do After a Phantom Vehicle Accident: 6 Steps
- Car Accidents
- Driving Safety
- Personal Injury Law
- Personal Injury Process
Far too many Oregon motorists who have been injured in what are known as “phantom vehicle” accidents never get a dime from their insurance companies. Why? Because all too frequently, the insurance companies simply say, “Since you can’t prove that someone hit you and then sped away, we don’t have to pay!”
Let’s face it: if you’ve been run off the road by a brainless lane changer who then speeds happily away from the scene, it could be difficult if not impossible to give the make and model of the at-fault driver’s car, never mind the license number. This is particularly true if you’ve been bumped off the road at night.
Portland car accident attorneys have seen this denial of claims all too often, so now they are passing along information about what you must do if you’re involved in a phantom car accident if you want to prevail over the insurance company . The exact same rules apply for any uninsured motorist (UIM) claim.
No evidence of a collision with another car?
If someone causes you to lose control of your car by swerving in front of you or even bumping you, and this causes you to lose control of your car and crash, unless you can show absolute evidence of a collision with another vehicle, the insurance company will more than likely deny your claim. Therefore, you need a witness.
The problem with that notion is that anyone who saw the person bump you or cut you off was almost undoubtedly traveling behind you, so they won’t have any more information than you, so what can you do? In addition, if the bump that caused you to lose control was relatively minor compared with the severe damage caused after you lost control, an unsympathetic insurance adjuster is likely to deny your claim, saying they can find no evidence of any initial impact.
Using UIM Insurance Coverage
The first thing you should consider doing is speaking with a very good and highly experienced personal injury attorney. They have seen this kind of insurance industry denial of claims many times, and they also know how to fight on behalf of the injured victims.
Good attorneys will know which experts are most likely to find evidence of that initial collision that the insurance company adjuster “accidentally” missed. It might be a shiny mark on your bumper, or millimeters-wide indentations on a panel, but the right expert will be able to testify as to that damage having been caused very recently, helping to substantiate your claim.
Once a collision has been established, your claim moves from being a phantom vehicle claim to a hit and run claim. The expert testimony will establish proof of the initial collision, and your case should be straightforward after that.
What if I can’t prove the initial collision happened?
Without proof of that initial bump, things do become more difficult. However, state statutes that insurance companies aren’t quick to share with their clients offer some options, including:
- Testimony from a disinterested person that they saw the phantom car cause the accident
- Reporting the phantom car accident to an appropriate law enforcement agency. This must be done within 24 hours of the accident taking place!
- Informing the UIM motorist insurer of the claim “within a reasonable time.” Personal injury attorneys say this should be done within 72 hours of the accident.
- Obtaining other corroborating evidence from competent sources. This is a fairly broad provision and one which gives plenty of scope for victims of phantom car accidents to actually triumph over unwilling insurance companies.
The 6 steps to succeeding with your Phantom Vehicle Claim
The following methods of proof in UIM claims have all been accepted in actual court cases, so try to remember as many as you can if, heaven forbid, you are ever involved in a phantom vehicle accident.
- Motorists who have witnessed an accident oftentimes stop, sometimes to see if they can help and other times out of curiosity. Ask anyone who stops if they saw the phantom car and get their name and contact details.
- The very first time you talk to a paramedic, your doctor, or to the staff in the emergency room, it’s imperative that you tell them about the phantom car. The more people that know and the more you tell, the better.
- Tell the policeman both at the scene and then when you first officially report the accident exactly how the phantom vehicle caused the accident. Keep to the details of only what you know for certain. A rambling, dramatic encounter filled with hypotheses will not help your case.
- Become your own lead investigator. You know your car’s appearance better than anyone. Find any evidence you can of contact with the phantom vehicle and point it out to anyone inspecting your car.
- If your passengers agree to sign a waiver saying they won’t look for any UIM benefits from your insurance company, from the phantom driver or from you, they can actually be used as that critical disinterested third party to prove your claim.
- Talk to your own insurance company about the accident and be prepared for a grilling. They’re going to want to know absolutely everything, including:
- Exactly how the accident happened
- Anything you can tell them about the phantom vehicle
- Whether you’re willing to give a recorded statement to them about the accident. If you’ve spoken to your attorney before seeing the insurance company, discuss this with them, but generally speaking, it’s all right to give a recorded statement, providing you stick completely to the facts.
Because phantom vehicle claims are by their nature wide open to fraud, it is actually essential that you cooperate fully with the investigation into your claim. Without an at-fault driver to question, insurance companies are very wary that someone who has made a mistake that didn’t involve anyone else is just trying to make a claim to cover their own negligence.
Clearly, filing a phantom vehicle accident or UIM claim is potentially a highly complex process that if handled incorrectly can leave innocent victims struggling to cope with mountain-high medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering and a true loss of the enjoyment of life. With so much at risk, it makes good sense to let an experienced Portland car accident attorney deal with the complexities of the case while you concentrate on your recovery. The consultation is free, so even before you contact the insurance company, call the lawyer, ask your questions and find out the very best way to move your case forward.
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Beware The Phantom Car Accident
The phantom car accident is an accident type you are probably unaware of. And yet it is quite common, causing thousands of serious injuries and deaths every year.
A phantom car accident is much like a hit and run — only the driver’s car doesn’t actually touch you or your vehicle. It usually causes you to swerve or leave your lane, where the actual violence occurs – striking a pole or wall or curb or tree or other vehicle.
Phantom drivers may know they caused your injury – or, like many distracted drivers, they weren’t paying enough attention to see that they injured you. Sometimes, just like hit and run drivers, they speed away and are never heard from again.
Examples of phantom vehicle accidents
· An oncoming car drifts into your lane, and causes you to leave your lane.
· A passing car comes to close to you, and forces you off the road.
· The driver ahead of you throws a can out the window, causing you to veer away.
The problem of phantom accidents
Phantom drivers cause problems on numerous levels:
· Because they didn’t stop, you are without emergency assistance.
· Because they leave the scene, you have no third-party insurance to file a claim against.
· Because they disappear, it looks like you caused the accident by yourself.
Filing a claim in a ‘miss-and-run’ accident
You can’t file a claim against a phantom. But you still have an option, filing a claim against your own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in your auto insurance policy. UM insurance is part of most people’s policies. It is an inexpensive addition to your policy to help you deal with situations like this.
UM coverage is not the end of the story, however. You may be surprised when your own insurance company is suspicious of your claim. Even though they are your insurance company, they will play the same set of tricks on you that they play on other plaintiffs: deny that the accident occurred, deny that your injuries are as serious as you say, and delay any kind of payment to you.
That’s when you need a sharp personal injury lawyer on your side. We’ll save that story for another time.
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What Happens if I Get in a Phantom Driver Accident in California?
You are cruising down the freeway and suddenly a child runs out in front of you, causing you to swerve. Or a tree breaks and falls into the road, or another driver pulls out in front of you without signaling. You swerve to avoid the hazard and end up crashing into a tree or a pole on the side of the road. Insurance companies call these “non-contact, single car accidents,” or “phantom driver accidents.” Who is at fault? Will your insurance cover the crash? What are your rights and your options? Read on to learn about phantom driver accidents in California, and reach out to a savvy Pasadena car crash lawyer for help after a traffic accident in southern California.
If There’s no Contact, Is There Fault?
To quickly dispel any misconceptions: Just because another driver didn’t physically crash into you does not mean that they are not at fault for causing an accident. If another driver runs a stop sign, changes lanes or turns without signaling, or otherwise performs a reckless or illegal driving maneuver, the fact that you successfully swerved without hitting them (or getting hit by them) does not absolve them of responsibility. It was still their negligent actions that caused you to crash, and they are still just as liable as if their car physically crashed into yours. Likewise, if a pedestrian, a child, or a pet caused you to crash, then you may be able to impose liability on the person, the child’s parents, or the pet’s owner.
If no negligent person caused the accident and it was caused by other external forces (for example, a lightning strike knocked down a tree), then you would report the accident to your insurance provider as a normal single-car crash. You would emphasize that the accident occurred through no fault of yours–it should be treated the same as if your car was crushed by a tree branch while parked.
What to Do After a Phantom Car Crash
If you have been in a phantom car accident in California, you should treat it like any other accident. Stay at the accident scene, call the police, and report the accident. If the phantom driver sticks around, collect their information just as you would with any other crash. If they leave the scene, gather as much information as you can:
- If you can, take a photo or write down their license plate number and/or the make, model, and color of their car
- If there are any witnesses around who might have seen the other car or witnessed the accident, get their contact information
- Make sure the police talk to any witnesses
- Seek medical attention immediately if you are injured
If you cannot identify the other driver, you will need to convince your insurance company to treat the crash as a hit-and-run accident. Doing so can be difficult and requires the expertise of a seasoned California car accident attorney.
Get Help After a Pasadena Car Accident
If a negligent driver in southern California has hurt you or someone you care about, speak with an attorney who understands your concerns and can protect your interests with zeal and compassion. Call Pasadena car accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.
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Phantom Car Accident: What Is It?
- March 25, 2022
A phantom car accident is a unique and strange case. When people imagine a car accident , they have two or more cars in mind. But sometimes, traffic collisions are more complex than that. For example, a hit-and-run accident victim may have little or no information about the person who struck them. Such a situation can complicate the process of applying for an insurance claim.
However, another situation is known as a miss-and-run or a phantom car accident. Unlike a hit-and-run where the driver leaves behind some evidence, a phantom driver leaves little or no evidence. Thus, proving that someone else’s negligence caused the crash may be more difficult.
This article discusses what a phantom car accident is and the steps you can take to ensure you can receive maximum compensation from the at-fault party. If you were involved in a crash with a phantom driver, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Bethune Law Firm could help you. Contact us immediately.
Explaining Phantom Car Accidents
A phantom car crash happens when a vehicle causes another to crash without colliding with it. For instance, you may drive in the right lane when a car suddenly enters in front of you. Then, in trying to avoid a collision, you swerve and strike the guardrail.
The collision force leaves you injured, and before you can ask the other driver for their information, they drive off. The person who sped off is the phantom driver. The term originated from explaining how a driver can cause a crash without being physically involved.
What To Do When a Phantom Driver Causes a Crash
A phantom driver is as dangerous as a hit-and-run as both motorists leave injured drivers on the road without stopping to help. If you were involved in a phantom car accident, you should take the same steps as you would in other types of traffic crashes. So first, call the police and report the accident.
The police are your best chance of tracking down the driver and holding them liable for your injuries and losses. So, it would help if you could provide the investigators with the following information:
- The make and model of the car, and the year, if possible
- The color of the vehicle
- Any distinguishing features like dents, scratches, or modifications
- What the driver looked like (their sex, presumed age and height, and race)
- When, where, and how the accident happened
- The vehicle’s license plate, even if it is just a partial
- The direction the phantom driver was going before the accident
Remember that providing this information does not guarantee that the police will apprehend the phantom driver. But it is an excellent place to start, and even if the authorities cannot find the driver, you may still be able to recover compensation.
How To Recover Compensation Following a Phantom Car Accident
After a crash caused by a phantom driver, the best option would be to turn to your uninsured motorist coverage. Note that Georgia does not mandate drivers to buy this policy. But it is always a great idea to have one in case of collisions like this.
Suppose you have uninsured motorist coverage. You can file a claim with your insurance provider, but you have to prove that you were not responsible for the crash. Generally, insurance companies do not relish paying compensation. So, you need evidence to show that the phantom driver caused the crash, not you.
As such, you need to present:
- Photos of the crash scene, including tire tracks
- Witness statements
- Video footage of the crash scene
There’s a chance you failed to gather all this evidence due to your injuries. If that’s the case, speak with the investigating police officer on obtaining the police report. Usually, you can make an online application .
What if the Police Arrested the Driver
If this happens, you can file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. However, you’ll need to establish the phantom motorist’s negligence. That means proving the duty of care, breach, causation, and damages. You can recover the following as settlement:
- Medical bills
- Cost of vehicle repair
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress, etc.
Let Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Help You
Motor vehicle accidents leave devastating consequences. Victims who survive often have severe injuries that might affect their lives forever. Thankfully, Georgia law allows crash victims to recover compensation from the at-fault party, and our legal team can help.
At Bethune Law Firm , we have years of combined experience helping crash victims and will do all we can to help you get a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free case review.
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What is a ‘phantom car accident’?
Our Blog | June 7, 2016
A phantom car accident sounds like you have been struck by an invisible vehicle. Actually, it’s you, the victim of a phantom car crash, who is invisible.
A phantom car crash occurs when one driver causes an accident, but doesn’t actually see it happen, and so drives away.
Maybe you crash into yet a third vehicle or your car leaves the highway entirely. Severe injuries happen when you are traveling at high speed and suddenly go off-road.
Phantom crashes are not uncommon. They occur whenever one driver forces another off the road. The phantom driver may be driving recklessly or speeding, or they may simply be oblivious to what they have done.
Either way, if you are the victim of such a crash, you may feel up the creek. How can you get sue the other driver’s insurance company if the other driver disappears?
The predicament is essentially the same as a hit-and-run accident. The solution is also the same. In all likelihood, you have opted for uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto policy.
Instead of suing the phantom driver’s insurance company, the injured party files a claim with his or her own insurer. Any compensation will have to come from them.
This sounds like a wonderful solution, and it often is. But there is a catch. Your insurance company is no more eager to pay you for your pains than the other driver’s insurance company would have been. Your insurance company may drag its feet, stretch out the process, deny the seriousness of the accident, or offer you a nickel on the dollar to pay your medical bills.
This is one of those times when you need an experienced attorney on your side, to keep the insurance company honest. They are less likely to get cute about paying compensation when they are up against people who know the law.