Driver Crashes Tesla Model 3 While Adjusting Wipers, Has License Suspended

A driver in Germany has been banned from driving for a month after crashing while adjusting his Model 3's wiper speed on the vehicle's touchscreen
Driver Crashes Tesla Model 3 While Adjusting Wipers, Has License Suspended

Migrating once physical controls into a big touchscreen is very on-trend at the moment. From affordable things like Peugeots to premium stuff from Audi and others, it feels like everyone’s at it.

Tesla goes a step further with its Model 3 - the central display even replaces the instrument cluster. Meanwhile, although the windscreen wipers can be controlled to an extent via a column-mounted stalk, you need to use the touchscreen to change their speed or enable the auto mode. This seemingly proved rather distracting for one driver - according to a court in Germany, fiddling with wiper settings caused him to leave Bundesautobahn 36 and crash his Model 3 into several trees March last year.

The man was ordered to pay a €200 fine and serve a one-month driving ban in August 2019. The court ruled that the accident was due to “improper use of an electronic device in accordance with Section 23 (1)of the Road Traffic Regulations” (translated).

Remote video URL

The man argued against the ruling, claiming that the central screen is a “safety-related control panel”. Despite this, the Oberlandesgericht (higher regional court) in Karlsruhe has since issued a final judgement, siding with the original ruling.

The court said that that operation of a touchscreen is “permitted if the view is only briefly adjusted to the screen based on road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions,” but decided the Model 3’s five-setting wiper sub-menu “requires significantly more attention from the driver than when operating the wiper with the conventional fittings”.

The ruling could slow down or even reverse the car industry’s cabin ‘decluttering’ trend, although some manufacturers are already going down another path. Mazda, for instance, has ditched touchscreens in favour of displays operated with physical controls in the name of reducing distractions. It’s also worth noting that there’s a huge push behind voice activation tech from multiple major manufacturers, mitigating the need to use touchscreens, although these systems still have plenty of limitations.

Via Auto Motor und Sport


Ben Anderson 1

Who would’ve guessed that having to look away from the road to adjust settings on a glorified and overcomplicated iPad would result in distracted driving. No one foresaw this coming. Not a soul.

Blatant sarcasm aside, my neighbour’s friend has a Model 3 in black and I asked him what it was like to live with, and after a few months of ownership his verdict was: amazing car, but the interior is just bad (specifically pointing to the touchscreen being a nightmare to use when moving).

You have to hand it to Tesla, their marketing department really did well on making a shit interior the thing to have. Remember how the Peugeot 308 was criticised for having touchscreen climate controls? That’s suddenly okay when it’s a Tesla.

08/03/2020 - 10:51 |
20 | 0

I’m driving the new Fiesta (2019 model) and I think Ford did an amazing job. Phone connectivity, radio and Sat Nav are on the touchscreen.

All other things have physical buttons on the wheel, and it has a physical climate control! Oh and a volume dial! It also has a small screen in front for fuel consumption, trip meter and other basic things.

I think touchscreens are great when done right. What Tesla did is not how it’s supposed to be done.

The Fiesta is the top model BTW, if you want to look up yourself.

08/03/2020 - 11:28 |
12 | 0
Tomislav Celić

Touchscreen for Sat Nav and Radio is dope.


08/03/2020 - 11:25 |
12 | 0
slevo beavo

Touch screens in cars are just plain dangerous.

If using your phone in a vehicle even if it’s on a mount is illegal in most countries surely this is no different.

I have a new Mazda, it has a touch screen for radio and natnav etc but also gives you a rotary dial and short cut buttons which is a lot easier

08/04/2020 - 06:05 |
4 | 0
V-Tech and EcoBoost kicked in yo

Having everything controlled and displayed on a single giant touchscreen works fine as long as the car is full self-driving. None of the current models are capable of that so as of now it ironically adds extra risk.

08/04/2020 - 08:58 |
4 | 0

Touchscreens in cars are just retarded idea.

08/18/2020 - 06:59 |
0 | 0



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