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Wrecked my front just too early for the 3.0 upgrade...

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Chillout, Jul 16, 2015.

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  1. TOBASH

    TOBASH Member

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    This is a harsh post, but I can't argue with it.

    1) It seems true that most localities will find the person who commits the rear end guilty. I have left 2 car lengths per 10 MPH in front of me. I have purchased new custom rotors and new stickier brakes that should have been provided by Tesla.

    2) I can't understand why you didn't swerve into the right lane which was empty.

    3) I think this demonstrates that the factory brakes are dangerous and defective, perhaps requiring a factory review. NO WAY a minivan should stop more easily than a high performance sports car. BMW's stops quickly and predictably, Porsche's stop quickly and predictably, even those relatively inexpensive Miata Mazda Roadsters and Scion sports cars stop quickly and predictably, so why did they miss this on the Tesla Roadster?

    I feel for your loss, but you need to drive more defensively AND upgrade your brakes.

    Best,

    T
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #22 ecarfan, Jul 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Very sorry to read about this Roadster accident and glad the OP is okay. Did the airbag go off? I am surprised that van was displaced so much by the force of the Roadster hitting it: my guess is the Roadster could have been moving at around 20-30 kmh at impact. I can tell from the video that there were at least two cars stopped in front of the van (as the van moves to the left you can see ahead of it). So the van did not apply the brakes for "no reason". And there was clearly empty space in the right lane for the OP to move into. It is quite unfortunate that was not taken advantage of.
    Based on the video I would not assume this is a case of a van stopping more rapidly than a Roadster. It could be due to inadequate following distance and a delayed response by the driver. But there is no way to be sure just based on the video, there is not enough information.
    It seems unreasonable to automatically blame the Roadster's brakes for this accident. I have the stock brakes on my 1.5 and have tested them many times by doing a maximum stop on empty streets. They seem normal to me. I'm sure they can be improved (as others have demonstrated already) but I do not consider them dangerous. Maintain a safe following distance, stay alert, and always be aware of escape routes.
     
  3. Habious

    Habious Member

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    I'm not going to argue about wrongness on this...I think the OP made it pretty clear that it was his screw up (and it's hard to argue fault in a rear-ender).

    But, there's a very annoying trend these days in vehicles. When I was growing up and learning to drive, I was taught to look AHEAD. Don't look at the car in front of you, look at the car in front of them.

    That's fine, except that 75% of vehicles on the road today are 6' tall SUVs with 5% limo tint. It's a giant blind spot on wheels.

    I simply don't drive behind these big-a$$ trucks. I don't drive behind anything I can't see through. I'll change lanes into a slower lane to avoid being behind them (and having no earthly idea what's going on with the road ahead).

    Also, it might just be the lighting or the angle of the dash cam but, I'm having a really hard time seeing the van's brake lights come on.
     
  4. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I believe the OP got away with no lesions, right or wrong. :wink:
     
  5. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Agree completely...I follow the same practice ...

     
  6. Chillout

    Chillout Member

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    Me too.

    For the rest of this board: please don't judge me by your country's laws or by seeing just 10 seconds of myself driving. Rear ending is always wrong in the Netherlands, but we have 2 seconds advised distance instead of the 6 seconds in the USA. I was planning to go to the right lane after passing the truck, and when I came back with my eyes on the left lane, this happened. Sun is directly behind me, not being able to see the brake lights on the van very well. Before I registered stuff was going down, I was already braking. I felt like nothing was slowing down on the car until just before the collission, and when looking at the footage, I see it happening again.

    so before anyone really needs to shout out: it's your fault! Yes it is.
    The right lane wasn't free, I saw the truck closing in, and we all know about the blind corner there, I couldn't be sure of it. I didnt want to be on the left lane behind the van. I could show you footage of the entire trip, and I never stayed behind the non-transparent van for more than I needed for the reason my vision was severely hampered because of it.

    Anyways, lessons learned:
    - it sucks that stuff like this can happen
    - I should have kept even more distance
    - I overestimated my brakes
    - be more careful with vans like this. I already hated them, because they are operated by dumbasses most of the time (no offense... it's true, although not in this case, the driver was a cool guy).
    - I'm upgrading brakes. They are built for Elises that are WAY lighter. You will assume they are fine until you learn they aren't sufficient. Nothing wrong with improving them, I guess.

    I will never know why they were braking. There was nothing going on in front of the van. Just 3 cars. 2 blue ones and a red one, and after the red one left to the right lane, **** happened for no reason. I expect one of the cars involved was looking at his phone and stepped on the brake when he saw someone's lights in front of him, leading to this sudden standstill. The first driver in front of the van stopped after the accident. It was a german guy, and he was VERY quick at leaving the crashsite. Not sure why he was in such a hurry.

    again: I'm not saying I'm not wrong. Situation sucks, but I;m happy everybody lived happily ever after.
     
  7. davewill

    davewill Active Member

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    Wow! If you were indeed fully on the brakes, they definitely were not performing well. It is hard to discern that the roadster is braking much at all in the video.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The custom group buy brakes arranged on TMC were a big upgrade.
    Sorry this happened to you and hope it gets back on the road as a 3.0.
     
  9. xytor

    xytor Roadster #221

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    I never liked the roadster brakes. They felt no more powerful than the old ones on my '96 Geo Prizm. They were especially bad in the rain. I had a near miss kinda like this. The only difference is that once I realized that I couldn't stop in time, I swerved into the right lane. Luckily there were no cars there. I got lucky like this once or twice more, and I couldn't stand it anymore.
    So, I bought some Carbotech AX6 brakes and had them installed by the best mechanic ever as soon as I could. I feel like a stopping superhero now.
     
  10. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I just watched the video. Don't think the brakes are to blame. Seems like around 1.5 seconds seperates the van and the Roadster, and there's about 1 seconds between the van starting to brake and the nose of the Roadster lowering indicating heavy braking.

    When you've got half the recommended distance between you and the car in front of you, and the reaction time is a whole second, that's the result. No matter what brakes you have, you can't stop in 0.5 seconds.
     
  11. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Again, I'm glad everyone is okay. And I applaud your willingness to share 'lessons learned'. That will benefit all of us.

    I'm sure people don't mean to be harsh, we just (as a group) like to pick things apart. And you threw some fresh meat into the ring :).
     
  12. hobbes

    hobbes Active Member

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    Observed the same, nose goes down just before impact. Does not look like tailgating to me though.

    Anyway, good luck on getting your roadster back in shape!
     
  13. Chillout

    Chillout Member

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    That's a beautiful way of saying that :)



    Everyone: thanks for your support!
     
  14. Mark77a

    Mark77a Member

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    As ever, ^ Nailed it ^

    Any omnipotent here, who has not got something to learn, or has never made a mistake, please get up from the armchair and take a bow :)
    Chillout: kudos for sharing, you needn't ... the video has got 8,000+ hits, excluding schadenfreude, thats some education for us all - thankyou.
     
  15. GVTesla

    GVTesla Member

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    There's a bunch of topics on the RS brakes here on TMC that seem to disagree on that. I can testify to the fact that the standard brakes seem to live a life of their own. Most of the time - if you punch em deep - they do just fine so I can agree on their smooth operation most of the time. However, at another, they seem to completely abandon you. And one can only hope that there is an escape route, as having a distance-failsafe might not be enough then. Being alert is always advised ofc. But being human and all, I guess all of us will have a moment that we're less alert than ideal. We can only hope that such a moment will always turn out to be a forgiving moment
     
  16. dandurston

    dandurston Member

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    I also agree. If you watch the hood of the car you can clearly see it dive as the brakes are applied at 0:11. At this point the Roadster is travelling way faster than the van and only a few car lengths back. No vehicle could have stopped that quick.

    The main cause is the long reaction time. The OP acknowledged as much by saying he was looking at the other lane and the sun was in his eyes. The Roadster may very well have mediocre brakes but it's unfair to blame the car here.

    - - - Updated - - -

    To expand on my above post, the reaction time is well over a second. The van visibly braking at 0:09 yet the nose of the car doesn't lower until 0:11. It looks like there was a 2 second gap between the vehicles but 1.5 seconds of that was used up by the reaction time, leaving just 0.5 seconds to brake.
     
  17. lucy

    lucy bluehair

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    Wow, you are lucky to be ok. Glad you didn't go into the "open" right lane & get squished by the semi! Your taped up roadster looks bad ass, you could check out the options in decorative duct tape. Might as well enjoy the freedom from door ding anxiety while you can.
     
  18. GVTesla

    GVTesla Member

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    May I assume that you aren't a RS owner? Because I totally get where you're coming from, as any car I've ever driven (and those are quite a lot) had predictable brakes.

    However (as is documented in numerous other threads) the RS-brakes are known to be unpredictable. I myself have had at least 2 moments where it took the brakes more than 2 mere seconds to lock on. It was as if nothing happened. This is exactly what the video shows.

    Now I wasn't there, nor were you. So both of us could be right and probably Chillout is the only one who can tell us whether or not the brakes played a role in the accident, or that it was solely that he was taken off-guard looking at the other lane and the sun in his eyes. But to say that it's unfair to blame the car, I'd say that no-one is blaming, it is speculation, but I (and probably quite a bunch of RS-drivers with me) would not be surprised if the brakes (unfortunately) didn't perform as one might normally expect.
     
  19. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    No I believe the roadster was completely stopped and the van backed up at high speed and hit the roadster.
     
  20. Electricfan

    Electricfan Active Member

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    This is why I'm hoping all cars in the future have at a minimum driver-assist hardware built in to stop the car when a human is distracted. And soon after that all cars are "driver-less". When that day comes we'll all look back and wonder that we survived the days when humans drove cars. In the time I took to write this post someone died in a car accident most likely (per stats I just learned in a video linked below). I just watched a video on this forum someone posted of google's driver-less car project and was shocked to learn the number of deaths occurring the world over in car accidents. Its an interesting video if you haven't seen it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiwVMrTLUWg

    Thanks for having the guts to post this in TMC.
     

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