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Model X in fatal wrong way driver crash today in Phoenix?

nowtleft

Member
Apr 16, 2017
298
92
Uk
Can of worms but does this prove that you have much less chance of surviving a crash with a Tesla than other makes?
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,626
8,802
Palmdale, CA
That intersection is a SPUI (single-point urban exchange), a relatively new intersection design. It's confusing for those people who have never seen one. It has the advantage in that it moves traffic faster that a typical freeway/cross street intersection that has to use two traffic lights on either side of the freeway. The SPUI reduces the intersection to a single traffic light.

I encountered one of those type exchanges for the first time while in a rental car in Colorado. I will say that I was glad someone was ahead of me in the turn lane to enter the freeway because I had zero clue as to how it was supposed to work. I was sitting there at the red trying to figure out why we were making a left into oncoming traffic and how this was supposed to work when the light turned and the guy in front cut the diagonal across the intersection to enter the on ramp.

If I had been there at night with zero traffic my chances at navigating the intersection correctly were slim to none. Now, I would have seen the do not enter signs, and turned around, but still.
 

tinm

2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
2,463
11,890
New Mexico, USA
One night last year I was just going to bed at around 11:20pm. Got in bed, listening to the quiet sounds outside. Suddenly a BOOM, a sound like an explosion, including a brief shock wave that hit the windows and rattled them for a moment. I could feel the air of the shock wave in the room. I looked out the window but did not see anything. But about three minutes later I heard all the fire and rescue sirens. And sirens. And more sirens. That went on for at least an hour. All very close.

The next morning I checked the news. A completely blitzed, way-past-intoxicated driver was driving the wrong way on Interstate 25 less than a quarter mile from our house. She drove straight into a young guy's pickup truck. They were both going at least 75 mph. Both cars burst into fireballs. She died instantly, the guy she hit was alive when rescue workers arrived, but they could not pull him out of his burning vehicle. He was a 23-year-old college student who'd just finished a long shift at his job and was going home. It was a terrible tragedy.

Whenever I hear about these wrong-way-driver incidents I shudder.
 

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,492
1,106
Tampa, FL
Right. Deceleration is the same from collision of two cars of equal mass at equal speed as with one car crashing into an immovable object like a concrete freeway bridge pillar. At 75 mph a car is traveling 110 ft/sec, so assuming a 6 ft crumple zone, the car stops in 6/110 = 0.054 seconds.

That would be the time for a constant speed of 75 mph. If the crumple zone decelerates you at constant Gs, constant force to fold the sheet metal, your average speed will be half your initial speed, so the time would be doubled to cover the 6 feet, or 0.109 secs. That would be about 31 Gs, by the way. Survivable.
If it had taken half as long to come to rest, the G's would have been quadrupled and unsurvivable.
 
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hpartsch

Member
Aug 6, 2014
597
418
wa
They are there: View attachment 237077

The only thing I've seen is that they "didn't seem" life threatening.

I wonder why the sign(s) are not closer to the entrance, or multiple would be even better. After seeing all these pictures, this is a horrible road design for safety. Put a bunch of drivers who never drove on this road, add a bit of rain or fog, and you have a really bad outcome.
 
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TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,814
8,827
http://www.dot.ca.gov/docs/Prevention-DetectionWrongWayCollisionsFreeways.pdf
...Consider the option of using a second set of Wrong-Way and Do Not Enter signs, and wrong-way arrows further along the off-ramp. The option of using additional signs and markings on selected ramps may give drivers a second chance to realize that they are headed the wrong way before they enter the freeway. Update: CA MUTCD Section 2B.41 permits the use of additional WRONG WAY signs and pavement arrows where a ramp intersects a crossroad in such a manner that a wrong-way entry could inadvertently be made. Caltrans has employed using two sets of WRONG WAY and DO NOT ENTER signs on each side of exit ramps as a countermeasure to further reduce wrong-way collisions...
...“During the late 1960's, the Division of Highways installed red-backed retroreflective pavement markers on all lane lines on freeways. These proved to be of limited value. The red-backed retroreflective markers are now used only in the vicinity of off-ramps as a secondary treatment. “In 1965, the Division of Highways installed parking lot spike barriers to determine if they could be used on off-ramps to physically stop vehicles from entering the wrong way. Unfortunately, these devices were found to be unsuitable for the following reasons: the spikes, even when modified with a fishhook-like shape, would not cause tires to deflate quickly enough to prevent a vehicle from entering the freeway the wrong way; under high-volume traffic the spikes broke off leaving stubs that damaged the tires of right-way vehicles; and some right-way drivers, upon seeing the spike barriers, would apply their brakes. Also, camera surveillance of off-ramps indicated that most wrong-way drivers quickly realized that they were entering the freeway going the wrong-way, and took corrective action; the spike barriers prevented that corrective action. “The state of Georgia tested a pop-up device that presented a physical curb-like barrier to the wrong-way driver, but it was unsuitable for reasons similar to those of the spike barriers. A recent poll of all 50 states revealed that none has found a suitable physical barrier to prevent wrong-way drivers from entering off ramps. Most states use a wrong-way package similar to California's. “California tried adding horns and flashing red lights over the "WRONG WAY" signs in the 1970's, but these were found to be ineffective, and they drew complaints from neighbors. 12 | Page “In the mid-1970's, wrong-way packages were upgraded and other improvements were made in signing, delineation, lighting, and ramp design at all on-ramps and off-ramps. Automatic cameras were used to record wrong-way entries. The cameras were in place for a minimum of 30 days at each of the 4,000 off-ramps across the State. The camera surveillance indicated that, through various improvements, wrong-way entries were reduced to low levels at 90 percent of the ramps with previous entry problems. These improvements have been incorporated into Caltrans’ current standard procedures. “One device that was tested did show promise. Red, airport-type pavement lights, embedded in the pavement across an off-ramp, when activated by wrong-way vehicles, were shown by camera monitoring to further reduce wrong-way entries. However, Caltrans has completed its evaluation of the red, airport-type pavement lights as recommended and has ceased using them due to significant maintenance and reliability issues....
 
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MyJoule

Member
Apr 20, 2014
507
431
Tucson, Az
My wife pointed out to me that perhaps the wrong way driver actually turned right as in crossed the bridge and entered the wrong way as if he was driving a cloverleaf. I never thought of that, but it seems plausible, especially if he was unfamiliar with the area, although I don't think there are any cloverleaf exits in the Phoenix area anymore anyway. Just still very sad about this, I knew neither of the involved, but I still feel sick looking at the pictures of the accident. My hats off to 1st responders that deal with stuff like this. I'd never be the same if I came up on that.
 
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TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,814
8,827
Yeah, I put a red arrow on one of the pictures showing that other possible way to accidentally get onto the offramp.
 

MyJoule

Member
Apr 20, 2014
507
431
Tucson, Az
TEG- I missed that arrow, but went back and saw it now- I think they wrong way driver likely did exactly that- crossed the bridge and turned right as opposed to turning left into the wrong way. Still its a very sad scene.
 

hill

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
1,315
677
Lake Forest, CA
Also confusing is that the arrows in the turn lanes suggest a sharp 90º turn rather than the actual 30º turn.
later stories reveal that there were several near misses and folks calling in prior to the Collision. If logic has any rule here, your average sober moron immediately stops once the mistake has been made, doesn't just keep rolling on down the road. bottom line is you can reconfigure a road as difficult as possible & put up as many flashing expensive red signs as possible. that is, if that's how the State of Arizona wants to spend taxpayer dollars. I'd be delighted to see any other state or country that goes to such crazy lengths.
.
 
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TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,814
8,827
Inebriation is statistically a big factor in many wrong way crashes. I didn't want to assume anything about that driver, but I can see that the road markings look confusing to me.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that "high" + confusing signs were both contributors to this tragedy.
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,130
27,348
UPDATE on this terrible accident -
Earlier today I talked with a crew of police & firemen who had responded to this horror. I learned that the testimony they took from the scarcely-injured Model X driver included the following extremely interesting material (I need to paraphrase here):

"I saw nothing. All of a sudden my X slammed on its brakes as it sounded an alarm, and then the crash."

===>In other words, to answer prior questions, that vehicle did indeed have AEB and it certainly worked - having perceived the impending crash prior to the driver being aware of same. From that, I think we safely can deduce that a head-on that otherwise would have occurred at a combined speed of X miles per hour was reduced to X-Y mph by dint of the Model X's control system.<===

On top of the above, the entire responder crew was eager to share with me their amazement and disbelief at how undamaged the Model X cabin was. When I showed them the frunk of our Model X and described its role as an unsurpassed crumple zone, they understood more fully how this could have been the case.
 
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