Tesla Model 3 Rear-Ended By Truck While Yielding For Ambulance

Driving always brings with it inherent risks and no matter how safe you drive, you’re always at the mercy of drivers around you. Case in point, this careful Tesla Model 3 driver who was unfortunately collected by an inattentive trucker.

The husband of the woman driving the Tesla recently uploaded footage of the crash to YouTube, captured thanks to the plethora of cameras found across the electric sedan’s exterior.

At around the 25 second mark in the video, the Tesla driver can be seen approaching an intersection with a green light. Some 100 feet before the intersection, however, an ambulance with its lights flashing can be seen heading towards the same intersection off to the right. Doing what any motorist should, she  slows down in order to let the ambulance pass through the intersection uninterrupted.

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Unfortunately, the driver of a large dump truck directly behind the Tesla didn’t notice the ambulance or the Tesla slowing down and slammed into the rear of the sedan, sending it barrelling through the intersection.

The video uploader hasn’t explained the damage which the Model 3 suffered, but it’s apparent that much of its rear would have been crumpled by the huge truck. Thankfully, the woman behind the wheel of the Tesla was able to walk away from the crash without any major injuries. It’s unclear if the trucker was injured but we hope they have a good insurance policy because they’re clearly at fault for the crash.


  • LJ

    While the Tesla driver did the right thing, they came to a pretty abrupt stop just before the intersection, which would give a dump truck very little chance of stopping in time, whether the driver was paying attention or not.

    • Bash

      Now, who do you blame in these situations.

      • LJ

        Without knowing all of the details, it’s impossible to say. Maybe the dump truck was following too close? Who knows.

        • Loquacious Borborygmus

          In the UK it is almost always the one who rear ends that is apportioned the blame for not leaving enough stopping distance to the vehicle in front.

          • LJ

            That’s usually how it is in the US as well, unless you have a dash cam and can prove otherwise. I’ve had people cut into my lane and then slam on their brakes, nearly causing me to rear end them.

        • Stephen G

          I wonder if there was a sign on the front of the truck that said “Keep Ahead 200 Feet” if it would still be his fault.

          • LJ

            This comment is dumb beyond belief.

          • Stephen G

            Find someone (I’m guessing outside anybody related to you) with a sense of humor and have them explain it to you.

          • LJ

            Jokes are usually funny.

          • Mill0048

            I lol’d. A litigious country absolved through signs and waivers and EULAs.

          • Stephen G

            You get it! Explain it to LJ.

      • Jay

        In most cases that at fault driver is the one that rear ends the car in front. No matter how you look at it, the further you are behind a car the more time you have to stop or avoid hitting what’s in front of you. I’d check my mirrors before stoping in front of a speeding truck though.

        • Bash

          I agree.

    • Sorry but it’s a clear case: if you don’t have enough space to stop safely behind a vehicle at any speed, you are responsible to leave enough space for yourself. The truck driver is at fault 100%.

      • LJ

        Relax there champ, no one said the driver wasn’t at fault.

      • Dylan Wentworth

        It’s not always that cut and dried but in this case the truck was following too closely and didn’t even appear to slow down, let alone stop.

      • Stephen G

        Unfortunately this is legally true, however if you have ever left the proper following distance behind the car in front, there is always some a$$hole that cuts in front of you. I wonder if the Tesla driver didn’t do that earlier?

        • LJ

          No one, including you, knows if the Tesla driver cut someone off. That is completely irrelevant to this situation.

        • Dude

          The law is the law for a reason (in this instance). If a person ran in front of the Tesla and they had to hit the brakes the same thing would’ve happened. You should be maintaining a safe following distance based on your vehicle and load. Period.

    • Stephen G

      Wrong. Anybody with a brain would not have slammed on the brakes with a truck like that behind them especially if they had the light. The ambulance driver knew enough not to rush into the intersection on a red light. Tesla driver heard a siren and panicked.

      • Six_Tymes


        • Stephen G

          Enjoy getting rear ended.

      • ChrisInIL

        The Tesla driver didn’t “slam on the brakes”. The car gradually slowed coming to the intersection

        It’s right there in the video.

  • Dylan Wentworth

    How convenient that the tesla came to a stop right in front of a fire truck.
    I’m not kidding. 1:42

    • ChrisInIL

      Emergency vehicles, much like deer, tend to travel in packs.

      This comment is meant to be both humorous, and informative. Don’t ever assume when you see flashing lights that there won’t be anymore. Most often, there are police, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. nearby.

      • Dylan Wentworth

        Well, the fire truck was in the parking lot of the Pizza Pizza and the ambulance was running code in the other direction. One might have been more for a pizza emergency but I wasn’t there.

  • Stephen G

    I wouldn’t call anyone that slams on their brakes (especially in a high performance car) in front of a fully loaded tractor trailer truck a “careful” driver. Stopping quickly is not always the safest thing to do as made clear by this example.

    • LJ

      It’s either get t-boned by an ambulance or rear ended by a dump truck. Neither sound pleasing, but giving the ambulance the right of way was the lawful thing to do.

      • Stephen G

        Tesla Man went flying through the intersection (involuntarily) and did not get t-boned.

        • LJ

          Right. They got rear ended.

          • Stephen G

            Right so if he just drove through the intersection normally none of this would have happened.

          • LJ

            If the dump truck had been following at a safer distance, none of this would’ve happened.

          • Stephen G

            What is a safe distance to drive behind someone if you don’t know they’re going to do something stupid?

          • LJ

            No one can predict stupid, but you should be at enough of a distance so that if the person in front of you slams on their brakes you can avoid a collision.

          • Stephen G

            What if “stupid” decides to back up? Your fault too?

          • LJ

            What does that have to do with this article? You’re just making up different hypotheticals now.

  • Six_Tymes

    The Tesla driver was at fault, and most likely still is clueless.

  • danno

    If you use the 3 – 4 second rule for trucks, the truck was following too close. 2 second rule is not enough for trucks. Just look at the dashed painted lines from the driver side rear view cam. It was more like 1 second following distance. In our commercial fleet we coached 5 – 6 seconds when roads were less than optimal like rain covered. Given it was a down hill stretch and the Tesla can “stop on a dime”, the outcome was inevitable.
    The truck driver would be deemed at fault, but both drivers played a role in the crash. Truck driver following too close and the Tesla driver not taking into account the truck being too close and not able to stop. Notice the ambulance didn’t enter the intersection as the driver felt it was an unsafe move. She/he was right.

    • Stephen G

      If you drive a truck maybe you can answer this…How often are you following the rule and somebody cuts in between you and the guy your following?

      • brn

        Constantly, but you need to do it anyway.

  • diesel_vdub

    This is a clear case of the Tesla owner not being aware of their surroundings. If they had been cognizant of the surroundings they would have slowed but still proceeded through the intersection knowing that the truck could not stop in time to avoid an accident. The ambulance driver was clearly aware of this and did not enter the intersection.

    The truck driver is primarily at fault for following too closely.

  • Eagle By Singer

    It’s the ambulances fault……

    • brn

      Must be.

  • liams92

    If you hit someone from the rear you are always at fault, that’s the law. Amazing how many people are unaware of this fact, it is up to you to leave enough stopping distance, even if the driver in front performs an emergency stop.

    • Stephen G

      True that. Doesn’t sound like a good law.

      • Knotmyrealname

        Eh? How so?

        • Stephen G

          Making an unsafe stop

  • Stephen G

    “California Drivers Handbook…Emergency Vehicles. You must yield the right-of-way to any police vehicle, fire engine, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. … If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle, continue through the intersection and then, drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop.”

  • mist

    This isn’t “news” or “scoop”

    • ChrisInIL

      And yet, articles like these get the most comments, and the most advertising views. So, yeah.

  • Wolverine350R

    It didn’t look like the truck driver even saw it coming. The video is long enough to see the Tesla did not cut the truck off, and it looked like the truck driver had plenty of space to at least react and slow some, but didn’t.

    I always check my mirrors as quickly as I can in these situations, saved me on the highway a while back. I had to split some cones and mildly scare an emergency worker, but it kept both him and my family safer then slamming my brakes letting the truck with a large 5th wheel that was right behind me rear end me. The truck saw me brake, and due to me not stopping had a chance to switch lanes (still pushing another car onto the far shoulder).

  • exeptor

    There was an ambulance on the right side with activated indicators, so the slight breaking by Tesla driver (or autopilot) was on place (even if the ambulance doesn’t move) and in this case the guilt was only on the truck driver for not keeping enough distance.

    Less probable, but there is an option that the Tesla was on autopilot and it decided to decrease the speed right before the intersection for an extra safety using only the breaking power of recuperation meaning that breaking lights were not activated which doesn’t give a chance to the truck driver. If this has even a slightest chance to be valid I guess situations like this will happen more and more often in the future until all the cars start “talking” to each other and preventing it.

    • gavingreenwalt

      only the breaking power of recuperation meaning that breaking lights were not activated

      regen activates brake lights.

      • exeptor

        Thanks for the info. If so then the guilt is 100% on the truck driver.

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