In a terrible, but thankfully not fatal, car accident last week, Twitter-user Martin Grefte’s Tesla Model 3 slammed into a tree at 72 km/h. Grefte was driving off of an exit ramp at the time, when he became distracted by the thought of a sick relative, and accidentally went flying off the road.
Grefte published photos of his accident to Twitter, demonstrating the damage his car took, and showing what he was able to walk away from. Thanks to the Tesla’s construction, which includes especially large front crumple-zones due to its electric design, Grefte was left with only minor injuries. In fact, the driver was thankful for his Tesla and went so far as to say that the crash wouldn’t have happened if Autopilot were turned on.
You mean….like this? pic.twitter.com/z9gJytGlLr
— Martin Grefte⚡️ (@martingrefte) May 22, 2020
In a series of tweets with concerned followers, he goes on to elaborate that the Autopilot would likely have not driven off the road. If he wouldn’t have been distracted, than he would have turned Autopilot back on again, after it automatically disengages after pulling off of highways.
Teslas get a lot more attention when they get into crashes, often times because of their famous self-driving features, which detractors want to point to. However, Tesla has gone above and beyond with their safety features and crumple zone design, which has led them to lead the way in crash-test ratings for several years.
Distracted, not busy with driving (not with Iphone!).
Just received message my sister in law was taking into IC for Corona. So my thought were not on the road but with her. To bad.
Had I been on autopilot, I am sure it would not have happened.
I drove off the exit of the highway.
— Martin Grefte⚡️ (@martingrefte) May 23, 2020
These sorts of horrendous accidents usually end up much worse, and it’s no wonder that Grefte will likely remain loyal to Tesla for some time after this incident. For starters, as Autopilot improves, it wouldn’t have mattered if the driver were distracted or not. Sometimes, humans have more troubling things on their mind than an upcoming exit ramp, and that’s understandable.
Furthermore, because of the fundamental design characteristics of these advanced vehicles, the tree didn’t slam an engine, instead it hit a state-of-the-art crumple zone, which stopped the tree from landing the driver in the hospital. If this had been from another angle, the lower center of gravity would have also helped.
You know, if you pull off a highway, autopilot turns automatically "off". And mostly on all exits, I put it "on" again. But I did not do that this time.
In this case sure "Auto pilot" certainly would have been better than "Human pilot" and would have avoided the crash.
— Martin Grefte⚡️ (@martingrefte) May 24, 2020
We’re glad nobody was hurt here, and would love to wish a speedy recovery to both Mr. Grefte and his sister-in-law.