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My 2018 Model 3 saved my life and my family's too

Lance2367

Member
Sep 20, 2020
15
89
Chandler, AZ
Elon's got a customer for life in me. Two weeks ago, I was involved in a horrific crash on the 405 in Long Beach. My wife, daughter, and I were visiting SoCal on some college visits. On a Sunday morning, I was driving in lane 5 of 6 moving with traffic at about 70 mph. Out of nowhere and without warning, an SUV struck the drivers almost at a 90 degree angle at about 65-70 mph. Apparently, the SUV was in the carpool lane and cut across five lanes of traffic. I didn't see it until it hit me. The collision was so violent, all I could do was grab the steering wheel and pray. He pushed us across the 6th lane, we struck the curb, the airbags all deployed, we went off the 15-foot embankment, and rolled over, struck and cut a tree in half, which whipped our car 180 degrees from the direction we were traveling and landed upright.

Somehow, we survived all of that and my daughter was able to get the rear passenger door open (we couldn't open the front doors) and we got out of the car, bloodied, bruised, and in lots of pain, but we were alive. There's no way we should have survived the crash, and even more, the car should have been a collapsed piece of junk. But not only did we survive, the car's safety features performed perfectly and the car, as you can see in the photos, basically stayed in tact. The driver's side front door should have crushed me instantly, but it didn't get close enough to me.

Anyway, I wanted to share this to let you know that if you're driving one of these cars, it is extremely well engineered and built. We literally owe our lives to the safety of that car. I have attached pictures of the crash scene and other pics of the car from the impound lot in a PDF file attached to this post. I would do anything Tesla asked me to do to help sell more of his cars.


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Attachments

  • Tesla model 3.pdf
    7.8 MB · Views: 61

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,910
13,050
California
Glad you’re all ok. Modern cars are indeed marvels of safety - it’s amazing. My wife and daughter were hit head on at highway speed by a drunk driver last year in our Toyota Highlander - it’s terrifying to look at the car and realize how violent the impact was, yet they left with their lives.
 
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dhanson865

Active Member
Feb 16, 2013
4,673
7,705
Knoxville, Tennessee
Elon's got a customer for life in me. Two weeks ago, I was involved in a horrific crash on the 405 in Long Beach. My wife, daughter, and I were visiting SoCal on some college visits. On a Sunday morning, I was driving in lane 5 of 6 moving with traffic at about 70 mph. Out of nowhere and without warning, an SUV struck the drivers almost at a 90 degree angle at about 65-70 mph. Apparently, the SUV was in the carpool lane and cut across five lanes of traffic.

any word on what happened to the other driver? Both if they survived and why they lost control?
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,138
2,106
San Jose, CA
@Lance2367 Glad you and your family got out in one piece. I'm curious: was the rear passenger door your daughter got out of still powered? By that I mean was the pushbutton door switch operable or was it simply muscle power that allowed your daughter to get out. I keep a pair of seat belt cutter/glass hammer tools in the back seats for just exactly what you experienced.

And secondly, were you grabbing the steering wheel the whole time your car was being pushed off the road? If so, any hand injuries?
 
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Lance2367

Member
Sep 20, 2020
15
89
Chandler, AZ
any word on what happened to the other driver? Both if they survived and why they lost control?

Thank you, Ray. They did walk away and were unharmed. We haven't seen the complete police report yet so we don't know what their issue was. But they went about 100 yards further down the freeway. Their car was damaged on the front from what we could see, but it looked fixable.
 

Lance2367

Member
Sep 20, 2020
15
89
Chandler, AZ
@Lance2367 Glad you and your family got out in one piece. I'm curious: was the rear passenger door your daughter got out of still powered? By that I mean was the pushbutton door switch operable or was it simply muscle power that allowed your daughter to get out. I keep a pair of seat belt cutter/glass hammer tools in the back seats for just exactly what you experienced.

And secondly, were you grabbing the steering wheel the whole time your car was being pushed off the road? If so, any hand injuries?

Thank you, Ray. The door still had power and the screen was still on. And yes, I got some bad hand cuts on my left hand. The glass was what caused the biggest problem. When the airbags deployed, they scattered the glass fragments into the arms and legs of me and my wife. My daughter didn't get any glass, but she got the seatbelt injuries.
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,290
2,085
CA Bay Area
Oh wow. Wow. What happened to you is nightmare I occasionally have - the going over the embankment part. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I knew this car was strong, but wow, I feel a lot safer now.
 
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RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,138
2,106
San Jose, CA
And yes, I got some bad hand cuts on my left hand. The glass was what caused the biggest problem.
I was thinking more along the lines of sprain / broken finger(s) and/or wrist(s), caused when the steering wheel possibly gets jerked around and you're still hanging on to it. I guess those cuts to your hand is what can be seen on the steering wheel airbag and the biohazard tag on the car. In any event, good to hear that everyone in your family survived what could have been much more serious.
 

nomis_nehc

Member
Jul 9, 2018
219
159
Rancho Cucamonga
Damn, glad that the Teslas are built tough to keep your entire family safe. It's crappy drivers like the perpetrators in your incident that scares me when I am on the road. I keep telling my spouse to pay more attention on the road as well, and I'll definitely have to show her this thread.
 

boriszima

Member
Jul 12, 2018
670
321
Los Angeles
Glad you and your family are ok. That 405 can be crazy when there is less traffic. Tesla took a beating. It appears you daughter in the rear was wearing a seatbelt? When you flipped, did any of your heads hit the glass? I am asking since in other conventional cars, roof usually has material to cover it, while in tesla is straight up glass. I see you got hurt by shattered glass, i wonder if this is where having tint might help since hopefully glass will be held by the film.
 

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