On Friday, May 11, 2018, at 6:38 PM MDT, the South Jordan Police Department received a report of a traffic crash involving a Tesla Model S and a mechanic truck from the Unified Fire Authority.
The crash resulted in minor injuries to both drivers. The incident occurred at 10400 South Bangerter Highway in South Jordan, Utah (intersection of SR-154 and SR-151).
The driver of the Tesla Model S (28-year-old female from Lehi, Utah) was subsequently interviewed by the South Jordan Police and said that she had been using the “Autopilot” feature in the Tesla. While Tesla’s Autopilot feature indicates that a driver must be attentive at all times, the driver admitted that she was looking at her phone prior to the collision. Based upon witness information, the driver of the Tesla did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision.
The driver of the Tesla was transported to a local hospital with a broken right foot. The driver of the Unified Fire Authority vehicle was checked for injuries related to whiplash; however, he was not taken to a hospital for evaluation. (Please note updates to injury information.)
In response to the crash being major news Elon Musk Tweeted,
“It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage.”
This remains an active investigation and the South Jordan Police Department is currently working with technicians from Tesla to gather and review data stored within the vehicle, which may take several days.
The South Jordan Police Department, noted that drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles have the responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the vehicle at all times. Tesla makes it clear that drivers should always watch the road in front of them and be prepared to take corrective actions. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death. Check with the vehicle’s owner manual to determine if this technology can be used on city streets or not.