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I Was Cruising Down I-10 Using FSD When My Tesla Screeched & Swerved Suddenly, I Was Annoyed Thinking Phantom Braking Until a Deer Jumped Out Right In Front of Me

A Tesla driver was recently cruising down I-10 using FSD. The drive was going smoothly when his Tesla came to a screeching halt and suddenly started swerving. He realized his Tesla saved his life before he finished thinking it was phantom braking.

Last week, we reported on an accident involving a Tesla Cybertruck and a deer. The Cybertruck, driving at 75mph on I-90 in New York, hit the deer straight on; however, the Cybertruck, built like a tank, barely budged.

According to the Cybertruck driver, “the deer bounced off cleanly.” Although his Cybertruck did not come out of the incident unscathed, the picture of his Cybertruck he shared following the accident shows the all-electric truck sustained only moderate damage.

However, that incident involved a Tesla Cybertruck, which, as I already said, is built like a tank. Cybertruck also does not yet have Tesla’s full self-driving software enabled.

What if you were driving Tesla’s other vehicles, which are mere mortals compared to the Cybertruck, and your Tesla was driving on its own, and you find yourself in a similar situation with a deer?

By now, it’s commonplace to see people expressing concerns about Tesla’s full self-driving system or headlines showing where the system malfunctioned. To a degree, they are right. Tesla’s full self-driving system isn’t foolproof yet.

However, all the chatter about FSD’s shortcomings also fails to highlight the advantages of using the software, even now in its incomplete form.

One Tesla driver recently discovered this truth when his Tesla on FSD automatically saved him from a major crash or even worse.

Jay Hitchens shared “I am on I-10, and my car starts slowing down. I’m thinking it’s phantom braking. Next thing I know, I see a deer come sprinting out of the trees. Before I can even turn the wheel, FSD was already doing it.”

Jay adds, “This car has been programmed for things like that, and I am mind-blown. Instead of me either hitting the deer straight on, swerving, and losing control, it maneuvered to get the minimal damage and, most importantly, here to talk about it.”

In addition to his written post, Jay shared a video of the incident, which he recorded using the built-in dash cam found on all Tesla vehicles. As you can see, Jay was driving on the highway when the deer jumped from the right side out of nowhere and ended up directly in front of him.

Given that Jay’s Tesla was driving at highway speeds and the deer jumped onto the road right in front of his car, if Jay had been manually driving his vehicle and Tesla’s automatic emergency braking system had not gotten involved, Jay would’ve likely hit the deer straight on.

In this instance, it would’ve been unfortunate for the deer that will be senselessly harmed. Moreover, as Jay mentioned, hitting a deer at that speed will likely also cause the vehicle to flip over, or the action of swerving away may cause him to lose control and cause more accidents.

However, Tesla’s full self-driving system, which employs a combination of brakes and steering action, was able to save both Jay and the deer from major harm.

Related News: A New Video Shows a Tesla Cybertruck Sustaining Moderate Damage Despite Rolling Over Multiple Times

Having said that, despite FSD’s efforts, neither Jay’s vehicle nor the deer came out of this high-speed encounter unscathed. 

The picture Jay shared of his vehicle following the accident showed that his Model 3 had a broken diver side headlight and a slightly deformed Model 3 bumper at the very left corner.

If you recall, from the driver's point of view, the deer came from the right side; however, as you can see, the Model 3 barely clipped the deer at the very left corner. The combined action of braking and steering wheel input almost completely missed the deer catching the animal at the very corner.

This significantly reduced the harm to the deer and undoubtedly saved Jay from major damage to his vehicle, at the very least, or even injury or worse.

There is a lot of negativity regarding Tesla’s full self-driving efforts, and we understand a computer causing a car crash captures people’s attention; however, it’s also important to highlight stories like Jay’s to educate people about the life-saving advantages of Tesla’s FSD software.

According to Tesla’s latest Impact Report, a person using the company's advanced driver assist system, including Supervised FSD, is measurably less likely to be involved in an accident than both the average US driver and even compared to a Tesla owner driving manually.

Overall, we hope this story serves as a reminder that despite all the negative headlines you might have read about Tesla’s full self-driving functionality, the FSD software is saving lives as we speak.

Currently, this is all the information we’ve regarding the issue; however, we’ll be sure to keep you posted when we get an update on Tesla’s FSD efforts. Until then, make sure to visit our site,, regularly for the latest updates.

So, what do you think? If you were in Jay’s position, do you think you could avoid hitting the deer without the help of FSD? Also, how do you think Tesla can highlight accidents that were prevented by FSD to educate people on the safety bonafide of the FSD software? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below by clicking the red “Add new comment” button.

Image: Courtesy of Tesla, inc.

For more information, check out: Tesla Engineers Break-in Through My Cybertruck Window & Drill Open My Frunk After Elon Musk Steps In to Diagnose the Issue With My Second Bricked Cybertruck

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and the evolution of the EV space daily for several years. He covers everything about Tesla, from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.