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Tesla head on collision with a Honda

FalconNinetyD

Active Member
Dec 20, 2010
1,102
12
USA
This is one reason why one should consider purchasing late model vehicles with strong safety ratings. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Tesla driver only has minor injuries.

The safety systems on vehicles purchased today are leaps and bounds ahead of vehicles made even 5-6 years ago. Everyone here loves to praise the performance, looks and geek-factor of our cars, but the crumple zones, stability controls, multi-air bag systems, etc, aren't talked about enough.
 

LagunaDallas

Member
Dec 21, 2012
95
0
Dallas & Laguna Beach
There's a member named LagunaDallas that's from Laguna and has a black P85, but with so many Model S's in CA that's a long shot. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/member.php/11477-LagunaDallas He's got grey wheels though and I can't tell from the pic if those are grey. I think not, because I think I see a sliver of a light wheel. Grey should blend in more.

Fortunately it isn't me. Prayers and all the best to the families of those killed in this horrific accident. This road has claimed way, way too many good people.

My Model S resides in Dallas, but I grew up in Laguna Beach and spend a good part of each summer and holidays there. I have driven this stretch of Laguna Canyon Road literally *countless* times and I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how this much damage could've occurred here. The accident occured at approximately 19800 Laguna Canyon Road, LB 92651 (if you want to Google Map it and do a Street View). I'm assuming that the Honda is near the impact point and the Tesla ended up well down the road based on the speed at which it was traveling. Since the Tesla was reported to have been leaving Laguna Beach, just before the impact point is a bend --- and before that a signal. If you are driving at a reasonable speed on Laguna Canyon Road and somehow get a green light at this signal and do not have to slow down, you're traveling at about 50 mph. Cars heading into Laguna Beach would likely be going a similar speed or a little faster. The Honda would've been coming in from a 65 mph zone that reduces on the the straightaway you can see in the photo of the accident scene. Because the Honda would've been approaching that curve and there is a big flashing sign about the signal at El Toro Road, he should've been going around the same 50-55 mph or so. The damage to the Honda looks like one of the cars was going MUCH faster than 50.

The article says that the Tesla appears to have caused the accident. If I had to speculate, I would guess that the Tesla was approaching the signal at El Toro Road, got a yellow light, and accelerated hard to get through it. We know how these cars can accelerate, and not everyone is used to that kind of sudden power and how to control the car. I know I have made a similar move myself at this exact intersection, as we all have at some point trying to beat a light. Shortly after the signal is a curve to the right, and it looks like the driver might've then lost control at that high speed when trying to navigate the curve, and the Honda's location in the photo is exactly where that kind of impact would take place. It could be a case of distracted driving as well with the driver not paying enough attention to the road. I can easily see someone focused on something else and missing the curve to the right and going over the line into oncoming traffic. If that was the case, the impact damage to the Honda is still worse than I would expect for 2 cars traveling at reasonable speed. The driver also could've stopped at the red light, then fully accelerated when it turned green and lost control shortly thereafter. I think you could get to close to 100 mph between that intersection and the curve if accelerating hard in a Model S. Regardless, it's a terrible tragedy and a scenario we hope to see as little as possible in our lives.
 
Last edited:

xray

P85 6313 - X Res 3450
Feb 7, 2013
146
0
Newport Coast, CA

jeff_adams

Member
Mar 18, 2013
618
2
Monterey
Apologies to anyone that finds this post offensive, but I think every Model S owner would like to see a picture of the front end of the MS. It's so far away from the Honda, it almost looks like it was driven there. Is that possible in an impact as severe as this? You would think the front tire would have sheared off of the MS.

It's possible it was moved out of the traffic lane before the picture was taken, but it most cases, those cars are still on the tow truck.

*shiver* I hate having to drive by these scenes. So sad......
 
my heart skipped a beat when i saw this posting. as I am off on a trip in Tampa and my wife takes that road in to work sometimes. hard to tell from a distance in the photo if it was a black or blue one like ours. thank goodness for the Tesla app, as I checked on my iPhone and saw her parked at her office.
 

bluetinc

Member
May 11, 2009
760
176
MD
I'd add to this that the S is a very heavy car, with almost a 2:1 weight advantage over the 90-93 accord that was hit.

This is one reason why one should consider purchasing late model vehicles with strong safety ratings. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Tesla driver only has minor injuries.

The safety systems on vehicles purchased today are leaps and bounds ahead of vehicles made even 5-6 years ago. Everyone here loves to praise the performance, looks and geek-factor of our cars, but the crumple zones, stability controls, multi-air bag systems, etc, aren't talked about enough.
 

jeff_adams

Member
Mar 18, 2013
618
2
Monterey
Not quite sure if this is sarcasm or not, but someone calling themselves "Mtang65" posted this comment on the LA Times story:

Please call your congressman/woman ask them to enact a law to ban Tesla. as you recall, SandyHook and Colorado Movie theater shootings, the shooters used automatic weapons. Their action caused death to multiple lives.
this accident which the Tesla veered onto incoming lane taking multiple lives.
Please call you congresss!
 

Mr X

Future Martian
Jan 18, 2013
2,133
1,645
Simi Valley, CA
Not quite sure if this is sarcasm or not, but someone calling themselves "Mtang65" posted this comment on the LA Times story:

Please call your congressman/woman ask them to enact a law to ban Tesla. as you recall, SandyHook and Colorado Movie theater shootings, the shooters used automatic weapons. Their action caused death to multiple lives.
this accident which the Tesla veered onto incoming lane taking multiple lives.
Please call you congresss!


sounds like a poor troll, and with that logic then every car that has ever veered over into oncoming traffic and has killed someone should be banned as well right? :confused:
 

Raven

Member
Oct 9, 2012
295
19
US
Anyone know the normal driving speed of this road? The Honda seems to show the damage of a 50mph wreck? Very interested to see damage on the MS and know the circumstances leading to this. RIP to the Honda occupants. Kudos to Tesla engineering.
 
Jun 20, 2012
47
0
Ladera Ranch, CA
Anyone know the normal driving speed of this road? The Honda seems to show the damage of a 50mph wreck? Very interested to see damage on the MS and know the circumstances leading to this. RIP to the Honda occupants. Kudos to Tesla engineering.

I believe the speed limit is 65. But if there is little traffic most people do 75+. At that time of the morning there may have been little traffic. I have driven my S down that same stretch and it's a fun drive through the canyon heading to the beach.

- - - Updated - - -

here's some video of the accident.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/laguna-502282-road-beach.html
 

Apoclyps

Member
Feb 28, 2013
525
6
Taipei, Taiwan
I was wondering what was going on when I was driving to work. I take El Toro Rd to the 133 (Laguna Canyon Rd) in the morning, and saw longer lines than usual. My condolences to those (and their families) who lost their lives. Hoping for a speedy recovery for the Model S driver.

You can see the swerving tire marks of the Tesla. Hope he wasn't speeding.
 

buzzbuzz

Member
Nov 20, 2012
124
0
Milky Way Galaxy
So sad. Everyone please drive carefully, and defensively.

I want to echo many here and say my thoughts go out to everyone involved. Very sad to hear. It is a sobering reminder that cars can be incredibly dangerous. While we certainly don't yet know the circumstances behind the accident, it helps us remember that we all need to drive responsibly and, as mentioned by arondaniel, carefully and defensively. Stay safe, everyone
 
Jun 20, 2012
47
0
Ladera Ranch, CA
One news report is saying the Tesla was trying to pass and swerved into their lane. It is a double yellow line, so if that is the case they are at fault and will probably be in some serious trouble with the law.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,928
529
Skaneateles, NY
Never been to this site before, but it seems like it allows user comments on the photo? The following is a comment posted on this link when hovering over the Model S:

this is going to sell ****-tons of Tesla's. If there is one thing to learn from this tragedy, it is that the Model S is more secure than your average Ford SuperDuty F-350.

source: http://jalopnik.com/tesla-model-s-driver-veers-into-oncoming-traffic-kills-466292380

- - - Updated - - -

And another comment on there that says

Visit the owners' forum. It's clear that nobody on there should be trusted with a car of any description, let alone one with ergonomics dreamed up by developmentally arrested children and curb weights close to two and a half tons.

seems like a bit of a harsh web site.
 

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