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Transportation

Dutchman Dies in Tesla Crash; Firefighters Feared Electrocution (reuters.com) 243

A Dutchman died on Wednesday after his Tesla collided with a tree, according to local authorities, and it took firefighters hours to remove his body from the vehicle due to fears they could be electrocuted. Reuters reports: The cause of the crash on a highway about 40 kilometers east of Amsterdam was not known. Photos of the crash scene published by local media showed the back of the car mostly intact but its front smashed in and parts strewn about. Tesla said it was "working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident" and would publish its findings as soon as they were available. A spokeswoman said it was not known whether the car was using "autopilot", Tesla's driving assistance technology, at the time of the crash, and that would form part of the investigation. A fatal crash of a Tesla Model S in the United States earlier this year knocked the company's shares and raised concerns about whether automated driving technology was being released to consumers safely.
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Dutchman Dies in Tesla Crash; Firefighters Feared Electrocution

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  • But wouldn't there be an electrocution risk with any EV or hybrid?

    • Prius: 288V
      Tesla: 375V

      I wouldn't rate the Tesla as significantly more likely to kill you, but in a near-worst case scenario Tesla's battery has additional voltage to kill you with, and even more amps to make sure you're well cooked. ~85 kWh vs 4.4 kWh.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Frying Dutchman as it were.

  • TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by b0bby ( 201198 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:37PM (#52842655)

    TFA says that since they had already determined that the driver was dead, they were extra cautious. They do have protocols for dealing with electric cars, and would doubtless have acted quicker if there had been a chance to save the driver. As it was, they waited for an expert to come and give it a once over, which seems prudent.

    • Oh quit being rational and thinking. A good Slashdotter will over-react, blame the firemen for being stupid, and make assumptions about training and such based on the tone of an article writer's misleading headline. No matter that the firemen had no reason to hurry, they should have rushed in there and started doing something to the car immediately. Surely their training didn't say anything about stopping and thinking if you see something unusual. Firemen hate Tesla's and now we have proof.
    • Agreed. They had determined the sole occupant was dead and so there was no point in further risk of life in dealing with the wreckage.

      How is this even news? Is it because it is an electric car? We've had electric cars before. If one is to include things like electric forklifts then I imagine similar situations have come up many times before. Is it news because it is a Tesla? If so then is this supposed to make them look bad? Perhaps someone's bias is showing.

      If this had been a wreck in water then I i

  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:37PM (#52842657)

    We have a fundamental problem: our brains tend to confuse the availability and prevalence of information about something with the prevalence of the underlying event.

    Here, the news is reporting on every serious Tesla crash, creating the false impression that these are dangerous cars -- we aren't seeing a report on every Corolla crash, say.

    I think the same bias plays into current panic over child abductions, which is distorting evaluation of common parenting strategies like letting kids play by themselves: it's not that abductions today are more common in the past, but that today's media is much better equipped to discover and wildly and rapidly disseminate information about them.

    • by ytene ( 4376651 )
      Agreed. I guess this is the downside of being a pioneer of electric cars - a bit like SpaceX's recent explosion during static testing prompted a bunch of armchair experts to try and tell SpaceX how to prepare for launches: everyone's a critic.

      But think back to circa 2000, when Ford Explorers started seeing issues with Firestone tyres... That was estimated to have caused "over 250 deaths and 3,000 serious injuries" [wikipedia] - and yes, when those numbers started to rack up, there were stories in the pre
    • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

      We have a fundamental problem: our brains tend to confuse the availability and prevalence of information about something with the prevalence of the underlying event.

      Here, the news is reporting on every serious Tesla crash, creating the false impression that these are dangerous cars -- we aren't seeing a report on every Corolla crash, say.

      I think the same bias plays into current panic over child abductions, which is distorting evaluation of common parenting strategies like letting kids play by themselves: it's not that abductions today are more common in the past, but that today's media is much better equipped to discover and wildly and rapidly disseminate information about them.

      This goes doubly for gun violence (generally), mass shootings (specifically), and police shootings (aka, #BLM).

      Most of the stats haven't changed much, and several have actually decreased. Media availability makes everything seem fresh and dynamic, with (IMHO) serious societal effects manifesting as a result.

    • Here, the news is reporting on every serious Tesla crash, creating the false impression that these are dangerous cars -- we aren't seeing a report on every Corolla crash, say.

      Indeed. For most car brands we'd be looking at a fatal crash story daily - not quarterly or less as with Tesla, usually with a crash so extreme it'd be newsworthy anyways.

      "Crash was so violent that it ripped the car in half and lodged the rear end a story up between a church and an office building". Made all the more newsworthy that the driver managed to be 'live' enough to make it to surgery, even if he subsequently died. This was for the first fatal Tesla crash I read about.

    • My 1970s shitbox must be safe, I've never seen any news stories about people dying in it!

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi AT evcircuits DOT com> on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @03:40PM (#52842699) Homepage

    The reason was because the car was engulfed in flames and the occupant was already dead. It's not like they didn't extinguish the fire or let the occupant die. You can use large amounts of water to extinguish Lithium battery fires (removing both heat and oxygen) and these batteries are dry, not pure liquid lithium. This would be similar for a gas powered car if the gas tank is engulfed, fire fighters won't risk recovering corpses or property if there is a substantial risk of an explosion.

    • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @04:15PM (#52842993) Homepage Journal

      Exactly this. The relevant facts are: A man crashed a car into a tree and died. Since he was already dead and no other human life was at risk, firefighters took no unnecessary risks as they managed the fire. The rest was just a bunch of blather to try to turn an all too common everyday event into a story.

      • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @07:31PM (#52844223)
        It actually could have been an interesting article that talked about the procedures firefighters use in these situations. Maybe some people could have been educated on little things they are trained on, such as 'if you see something that doesn't look safe, don't take chances if there is no need to." In other words, people might learn it is not such a bad thing for firefighters stop and think when facing situations that have even a remote chance of being dangerous.
  • photo's (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.112apeldoorn.nl/page/Nieuwsdetail/35830/dodelijk-ongeval-met-tesla-in-baarn

  • by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @04:45PM (#52843267) Homepage

    why is this news? every type of car on the road has fatal collisions every day. fearmongering about electric cars is dumb.

  • A fatal crash of a Tesla Model S in the United States earlier this year knocked the company's shares and raised concerns about whether automated driving technology was being released to consumers safely.

    Simple answer: It isn't.

    Stop all this automated up-selling bullshit and give me my damn electric car.

    • Using the driver assist technologies isn't mandatory.

      But it is a great feature, and can take some of the monotony of driving away. I want more of it.

      Yes, driving can be fun. Zipping around the twisty-windies is great. (It's even more fun on two wheels than it is inside four.) It can also be utter boredom.

      My electric car still has a gas engine too, but when 300 mile range hits my price point, chances are it won't.

  • The driver was going over 155 kilometers per hour (roughly 96 miles per hour) on a road where the maximum speed is 80 kilometers per hour (roughly 49 miles per hour), and the car was not on autopilot. Dutch stroy here [nos.nl], and google translation here [google.com].

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