Anticipation is the best friend of traffic safety. Drivers that keep an eye on what is happening not with the car ahead but rather as far as they can see can prevent almost anything. You name it: an accident with severe consequences or a really silly one, such as this one TeslaCam has registered. We have the impression it was perfectly avoidable should the SUV driver had anticipated what was going on a few feet ahead.
The video above is not the only one of this accident. Joe Gulisano decided not to join them, as most TeslaCam videos we get to watch. Instead, he published the right camera and rear camera footages as separate pieces. The video shot by the rear camera can be seen below. We don’t know where or when it happened, even though it seems to have occurred on Interstate 275 in Florida.
It is a pity Gulisano did not publish the video made by the front camera as well. We believe it would show that the crash was something the SUV could have probably dodged. When the other cars started to hit each other, the SUV apparently had time to swerve. If it had Autopilot, the system would have certainly done it. Its driver did not.
Was it a matter of distraction? It could undoubtedly be the case, as well as numb driving for any other reason. That’s what you sometimes get after miles and miles in a straight line. Ironically, that is another situation in which Autopilot would likely help a lot.
Watching the video, we get the impression that the problem could be another one. The SUV driver had a free left lane in which to merge with a swift maneuver, almost like a moose test. The problem is that the driver may not have felt confident enough to perform it.
Whoever was driving tries to get away from the mess by steering away. The problem is that it happens in a shy and insufficient way. That is when it gets hit in the back by another car and completely loses control.
This crash is the sort of thing that shows autonomous driving may be a wonder for traffic safety – either that or granting driving licenses in a much more demanding process.
Both would be effective, but the latter is something politicians would avoid because that would not be very popular. Either way, they lose votes: from people that get mad at them for doing the right thing and from people that cannot vote anymore due to crashes.