In a horrific accident, concrete blocks fell off a truck and onto an oncoming car on a highway in the UK. Thankfully the owners did not suffer any major injuries. However, the car was totaled. The footage of the accident is on YouTube.
The owners of a Tesla Model 3 walked away with minor injuries as concrete blocks fall on the car
A 30-second clip on YouTube shows the truck coming too fast along a bend. The truck was already tipping mid-corner, however, the concrete blocks on it fell off as it was passing the car. The blocks buried the Tesla and but the owners hopped out of the car with minor injuries. On the other hand, the car couldn’t survive the accident. The owner later lauded the strength of the Model 3 and its construction which saved his and his wife’s lives.
The accident occurred around the end of May. The owners, Neil, and Alison Collins, were in their brand new Tesla Model 3. While driving towards Holkham, England when the accident occurred. While rounding a corner, the couple came upon a truck carrying pallets of concrete bricks, and the massive vehicle was moving pretty fast. The truck was moving too fast. Neil, in an interview with local news, stated that he felt like the truck was approaching the bend a little too quickly. And his fears turned out to be true. The truck started to lean as it entered the corner. Much to the Collins’ horror, the concrete blocks on the truck fell off it just as it was passing their car. The car was buried in a pile of concrete very fast.
As the impact was majorly from the right side, the car ended up with severe damage on the right side. The other side of the car is largely unscathed but overall the car was totaled. The video grabbed by the dashcam is linked below. It isn’t very horriffic, it is just a little shocking to see the concrete fall out of nowhere.
“I could see the lorry appeared to have gone too quickly around the corner because it was really leaning over, so I thought, ‘Oh blimey, that doesn’t look very good.’ Then we came alongside and I could see the blocks sliding off,” Neil said.
What went wrong
The built-in dashcam captured all the footage of the incident. While there is not a lot of damage, the whole thing happened very suddenly. There was not much else that Neil could do in that situation. The blocks not being secured was a bigger concern. That coupled with the reckless driving was a textbook recipe for disaster. There was no mention of any charges being brought against the truck driver but it is expected. The big takeaway from all this is the fact that despite the accident, the owners walked away from the accident without any major injury. Most of that is due to the great construction of Teslas.
The Model 3’s construction
Although the Model 3 is the baby of the Tesla lineup, its structure is still very high-quality materials. The major component in the construction of the car is a high-grade steel alloy. The entire frame comprises high-grade steel and a little bit of aluminum. While the bigger Model S and Model X have a larger concentration of aluminum for weight saving, the high costs meant that Tesla couldn’t use aluminum in its cheapest car so far. Though the Model 3 still weighs a hefty 3500-3800 lbs. (1600-1700 kgs), it isn’t particularly portly. The extra weight is a bonus as proven in the recent incident.
The Model 3’s chassis construction
Tesla takes pride in beating the NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) 5-star rated cars when it comes to structural integrity. The company’s safety-focused construction style reaps its rewards in such cases. The Model 3 boasts of a superior structure compared to the Volvo S60. For comparison’s sake, the S60 has a 5 star NHTSA rating. This proves that the Model 3’s slightly heavier construction is definitely a big boon to have.
Comparison between Model 3 and Volvo S60
Accidents in the past
Tesla and accidents is a very long drawn saga. But most of those accidents are due to some sort of anomaly surrounding the Autopilot system. Very rarely do we observe any Tesla incident which occurred due to an issue in the structure of the car. While there have been past incidents when Tesla has come under fire for build quality and quality control, their cars rarely have any problems related to the structure. The construction of the cars is one of the top reasons for their popularity and it shows. Software-related accidents have also been few and are reducing steadily. All these are mainly because Tesla is pushing the boundaries of innovation in automobile manufacturing.
Tesla is ironing out the various build quality and quality control issues as well. If Tesla maintains the equilibrium between innovation and consistency, it can change the perception of Teslas being potentially unsafe vehicles. And if Tesla is able to achieve that then it can compete with the mainstream manufacturers.