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Accident for unable to brake efficiently: Tesla's or my fault? [early 2020]

Who is at fault?

  • Me

  • Tesla

  • Hard to tell


Results are only viewable after voting.
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KSilver2000

Active Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,368
2,438
CA
Defensive driving is the best kind of driving. You can't control other drivers, but you can keep yourself aware of what they are doing. Maybe that's the motorcyclist in me.

Not sure why you got so many downvotes.
I don't ride a bike. But, after I was once rear-ended on a freeway and my brother was T-boned in an intersection, I have definitely been looking at the rear-view mirror (rear camera on the Tesla screen) whenever I come to a full stop and briefly pausing after the light turns green at an intersection.
 

StellarRat

Active Member
Jan 8, 2014
1,529
1,520
Pacific
The MXM4 tires are champions of range and efficiency, but literally nothing else. They have no grip which most people might say "they're not racing around corners" but stopping power in emergency braking is compromised too. They skid even in warm dry sunny weather.
One thing I'm pretty certain of is that they certainly aren't the best tire you can put on an M3 even for the strengths you mentioned.
 
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Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,989
2,451
Colorado
Not sure why you got so many downvotes.
I don't ride a bike. But, after I was once rear-ended on a freeway and my brother was T-boned in an intersection, I have definitely been looking at the rear-view mirror (rear camera on the Tesla screen) whenever I come to a full stop and briefly pausing after the light turns green at an intersection.
He was downvoted for implying that the driver who was stopped at the intersection and rear-ended was in any way at fault.
 
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KSilver2000

Active Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,368
2,438
CA
He was downvoted for implying that the driver who was stopped at the intersection and rear-ended was in any way at fault.

I see. I didn’t read it that way but I guess it could be misinterpreted.

I read it as, for the sake of the front car’s safety, s/he could have scooted forward if it was safe to do so. Given my experiences of being rear-ended, and not wanting my Tesla to be labeled as “a repaired”, I certainly would have.
 
Agree with what most in this thread shared. You were driving too fast for the conditions. You passed every car in the video.
Also agree. And the wife whom has handled thousands of such cases of 30 years thinks too fast for conditions and "in general" if you rear-end someone, insurance companies and police are going to assume you are at fault unless you can show otherwise; malfunction, driver intentionally causing accident in front of you (yes, it does happen).
 

JeffK

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
6,997
6,932
Indianapolis
I see. I didn’t read it that way but I guess it could be misinterpreted.

I read it as, for the sake of the front car’s safety, s/he could have scooted forward if it was safe to do so. Given my experiences of being rear-ended, and not wanting my Tesla to be labeled as “a repaired”, I certainly would have.

When stopping you generally are paying attention in front of you. The front car braked with plenty of time (braking for a total of six seconds from the eight second mark), the OP wasn't paying attention at all. Not only did the OP brake late, but didn't even try to swerve to the right for which there would have been plenty of room. Even autopilot would have been a safer driver here than the OP.

I was in a similar accident as the OP recently in wet conditions like these, but in my case, the driver I hit was at fault.
 

KSilver2000

Active Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,368
2,438
CA
When stopping you generally are paying attention in front of you. The front car braked with plenty of time (braking for a total of six seconds from the eight second mark), the OP wasn't paying attention at all. Not only did the OP brake late, but didn't even try to swerve to the right for which there would have been plenty of room. Even autopilot would have been a safer driver here than the OP.

I was in a similar accident as the OP recently in wet conditions like these, but in my case, the driver I hit was at fault.

Of course you are paying attention to the front when stopping. I added that it’s good practice to also pay attention to the rear when you’re stopped. (And pay attention to the sides before crossing an intersection).
You misread what I wrote. I never said the stopped car was at any fault. I voted that the OP was at complete fault.
I guess my message is more intended to the victim of that accident. Having been in the same situation, i know it is safer to scoot up—if it’s safe to do so—when you see a car coming hot at you from behind. Plus, maybe you won’t get hit and your car value doesn’t drop.
 
I was in a similar accident as the OP recently in wet conditions like these, but in my case, the driver I hit was at fault.

Curious to get more details on how the driver YOU rear-ended was at fault. I think most rear-enders the one behind is at fault probably 99% of the time. Would like to know which type of instances where it would be reversed. Must be rare.
 
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JeffK

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
6,997
6,932
Indianapolis
You misread what I wrote.
You wrote that you didn't know how the other poster got so many downvotes... it was that they blamed the leading car, which has zero blame in this situation.

Curious to get more details on how the driver YOU rear-ended was at fault.

TLDR: I was driving and a car turned into my lane.
  • Wet conditions
  • Their light was red (right turn on red, failure to yield)
  • They turned into my lane which was one lane over, not the lane they are supposed to turn into
  • I couldn't stop so I tried to avoid by steering the right.
  • He then also steered to the right without a turn signal entering the next lane over, then slammed his brakes while still in the middle of both lanes with no one in front of him.
It was a Subaru so he probably had no acceleration power :)

If it hadn't been a younger kid I'd have almost claimed it was an attempt at insurance fraud. It was a virtually empty road and he waited until I got close before coming out into my lane. Luckily I had the cam footage.
 
Model 3 brakes are definitely not as "meaty" as BMW (for example) and the 18" tires are also not designed for best wet brake performance (and will get worse as the tread wears).

The original CR model 3 test showed 152' 60MPH to 0 stopping, (Motortrend on the 19" tires got 119ft). Motortrend BMW 330i was 103' as a comparison. I think Tesla made some software improvements after the original CR test. But at the end of the day - it is still your fault (in my opinion) - wet pavement - lots of variables - as the driver you need to allow for that ...if you heard the ABS working - the car was breaking as hard as it could - sorry that you had the accident - and hopefully no one was hurt.
 
Way late to the party but here are my observations.

To me it doesn't look like you were in a full anti-lock braking situation. looks like you transition to brakes around 10 seconds where theres a little dip in camera angle.

You state there were several bits of evidence though like tire noise and the ABS clicks though so that alone should tell you that the car was indeed braking and you just waited too long given the conditions. You can mash on the brakes all day but if the road is slippery Newton is going to win.

All that said its your fault. Either way bring it to Tesla for a service and check up. No reason to drive around worrying that your brakes might not work.
 
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The ABS cut in which means the brakes were working fine.
It's the tyres which stop you, not the brakes.

If indeed the ABS kicked in then as the OP believes, then yes, braking power was probably not an issue. Although the ABS may have kicked in at lower speeds if braking is weak.

I was very surprised by how weak my brakes were before bedding.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
17,060
35,270
NC
Model 3 brakes are definitely not as "meaty" as BMW (for example) and the 18" tires are also not designed for best wet brake performance (and will get worse as the tread wears).

The original CR model 3 test showed 152' 60MPH to 0 stopping, (Motortrend on the 19" tires got 119ft). Motortrend BMW 330i was 103' as a comparison. I think Tesla made some software improvements after the original CR test. But at the end of the day - it is still your fault (in my opinion) - wet pavement - lots of variables - as the driver you need to allow for that ...if you heard the ABS working - the car was breaking as hard as it could - sorry that you had the accident - and hopefully no one was hurt.


The original CR test found a bug in the computer code controlling the ABS computer.

Once that was fixed ABS worked properly.

At that point the "beefiness" of the brakes makes no difference.

Emergency braking distance is a measure of the tires, not the brakes. The tires are what stop the car.

Put better tires on a model 3 and it'll stop shorter than that BMW you mention, regardless of the rotors, pads, or calipers, none of which can make the car stop any shorter no matter how much you upgrade them
 
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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,867
4,638
Maine
Not sure why you got so many downvotes.
I don't ride a bike. But, after I was once rear-ended on a freeway and my brother was T-boned in an intersection, I have definitely been looking at the rear-view mirror (rear camera on the Tesla screen) whenever I come to a full stop and briefly pausing after the light turns green at an intersection.
Don't stress it. I got what you're saying and I totally agree. I too, was rear-ended by an inattentive driver, gong 50+mph on the Eisenhower Freeway in Chicago. I was backed up in the right lane exiting, while the car behind was a rental and the driver was rubbernecking another accident. Saw her a fraction of a second before she hit me, and I released the brake, turned the steering wheel, and was about to pull into the breakdown lane, but she hit me first. She never braked. I still have neck pain 30 years later.

As a result, I always look behind me, when I slow down for a light, just to make sure the driver behind me is paying attention.
 
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I see. I didn’t read it that way but I guess it could be misinterpreted.

I read it as, for the sake of the front car’s safety, s/he could have scooted forward if it was safe to do so. Given my experiences of being rear-ended, and not wanting my Tesla to be labeled as “a repaired”, I certainly would have.

I'm glad some people get what I'm saying. I'm not saying the Hyundai driver is in any way 'at fault' in our litigious society. Just saying that were it me, I'd take some self-preservation responsibility and be aware of what is going on around me. It appears like an avoidable bumper-thumper by simply using some additional space available. Should Hyundai drive 'have to' legally do this? Of course not. Would I? Certainly.
 
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