In BriefA Tesla Model S driver survived what would've been a fatal crash, thanks to his vehicle's safety features. The Model S fell off the edge of a cliff about 150 meters (500 feet). Amazingly, both the driver and his passenger survived unscathed.
Driving Too Fast?
Tesla’s vehicles have had their fair share of accidents and crashes. While most of those involved in these reported accidents have survived, perhaps no one has ever been more thankful than the driver and passenger of a Model S that went over the edge of a cliff in California last week.
According to a report by Electrek, the Tesla driver was speeding along Grizzly Peak Boulevard, driving home towards Oakland Hills, when his Model S tumbled 150 meters (500 feet) down the side of a cliff. The driver and his passenger managed to crawl out of the upside down Model S “totally ok.”
The Tesla driver, who wished to remain anonymous, posted this on an online forum for Tesla owners and enthusiasts last Sunday: “Driving perhaps a tad too spirited, a deer appeared at a curve at the worst possible moment. I instinctively (mistakenly) swerved to avoid it and my car ended up over the edge. We tumbled perhaps 150-200 feet down a steep slope, ended up upside down.” It was only when his car was towed back up that they discovered they’d fallen 150 meters (500 feet) down, and not just 60 meters (200 feet).
Tesla Saving Lives
Amazingly, while the Model S was wrecked, the interior of the cabin “was totally intact. We climbed out with only bruises and muscle soreness,” the driver’s post related. “I don’t know how to compare this with other cars but it felt rock solid to me and I feel lucky to be alive because of my [Tesla].”
The report by Electrek noted that the large crumple zones in Tesla’s cars, which are due to not having an engine under its hood, was the lifesaving factor in this accident. While this is yet another testament to just how committed to safety Tesla is, CEO Elon Musk has promised to strengthen the company’s standards even more.
Aside from the physical build of Tesla vehicles, a bigger contributor to safety is the Autopilot system. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released earlier this year, improvements and updates to its autonomous driving software have cut down Tesla’s crash records by 40 percent. In one occasion, Autopilot’s life-saving abilities was even caught on camera. With the 8.1 update finally out, Autopilot is expected to have improved considerably.
As for the driver from last week’s crash, he’s already looking forward to hopping back inside another Tesla. “Once I get insurance worked out I’m sure I’ll be in another one,” he said in his post. He’s certainly learned his lesson, though. “Maybe I’ll be driving those mountain roads at night a bit more cautiously,” he added.