back to article 80-year-old cyclist killed in prang with Tesla Model S

An 80-year-old man has died in County Durham, England, after being struck by a Tesla Model S. He was cycling along the A177 near High Shincliffe, when the car collided with him. After being struck by the Tesla at around 9.20am on November 10, the unnamed man was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he …

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Betting the driver was watching a dvd while driving like the last publicised Tesla incident...but i eagerly await the results of the investigation.

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The only video that Tesla vehicles display from the front seats is the reverse camera when requested.

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Anonymous Coward

and I seem to remember, legally only when the car is in reverse gear. (might be UK only)

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FAIL

@ Pink Duck

The incident in Florida where the driver was watching a Harry Potter movie while letting the car drive itself was watching the movie on a DVD player or tablet. In that case, "According to data recovered from the car, Brown's final trip lasted 37 minutes, from buckling in until the crash. During that time he had his hands on the wheel for 25 seconds and relied on the car's software the rest of the trip."

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/30/tesla_autopilot_crash_leaves_motorist_dead/

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/20/tesla_death_crash_accident_report_ntsb/

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The rear camera view can be displayed at any time, not just when the car is in reverse. This provides a rear view to augment that through the mirrors giving better rear coverage.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

Unsure why we're both getting downvoted to oblivion even though you've provided evidence for the incident i mentioned. Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

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Both travelling south on the A177 near High Shincliffe.

A very standard ordinary road if my memory serves me right, I used it often to get from Durham Uni to the A1M.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"Unsure why we're both getting downvoted to oblivion even though you've provided evidence for the incident i mentioned. Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?"

You're the only one with lots of downvotes. I suspect it would be due to your assignment of blame, despite your not having any facts whatsoever to base that assignment on. You not only stated that it was the Tesla driver who was at fault, in the total absence of any supporting evidence in El Reg's story, you then went further and speculated that the driver was watching a DVD and letting the autopilot feature run the car. El Reg specifically stated, and I quote:

"Tesla's Autopilot suite of features includes automatic braking and collision warnings as standard, and can be upgraded to automatically change lanes, maintain speed and park.

It is unknown at this time if the Tesla driver was using the features when the incident occurred."

It would appear that either you have sources of other than El Reg's story, or you are simply blasting hot air out of your ass. Perhaps you would get fewer downvotes if you provided support for your position. A check with the BBC's site shows http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-41953941 which gives even less information than El Reg's story. Do you have further information? if so, can you provide a link?

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

I doubt it. More what James O'Shea says above; you are casting aspersions which are completely unfounded and unwarranted.

I am not even convinced of the merit of reporting this incident here. On the evidence so far, it seems no more than the sadly all to familiar tragic road collision between car and cyclist. The only reason it has been reported here is because it is a Tesla and not some other vehicle. It would be merely speculation that it was the fault of the Tesla driver, the Tesla itself, or arose because of the nature of that Tesla.

It's not far above the level of clickbait.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

I'd imagine the reason it's posted here is the magic words "collision avoidance". Whether or not the other stuff was self-driving, collision avoidance is on pretty much all the time on a Tesla isn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

"and I seem to remember, legally only when the car is in reverse gear. (might be UK only) "

Don't thing so, my car will display the rear camera while driving so doubt its a UK legal thing

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Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

There aren't lots of Tesla owners anywhere.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

Reasonable assumptions might play a part here.

The Tesla S 90D is an expensive sports car. It's is likely that it was traveling at a substantial speed, it is possible that it wasn't, but why spend £70,000 on a fast car and then not go fast?

The cyclist was, well, a cyclist. It is likely they were travelling somewhat slower, it is possible that they were travelling at substantial speed, but the cyclist's speed is limited by the limits of human performance and endurance. It is possible they were cycling up to 70km/h but for an 80 year old that seems unlikely.

On balance, it would seem to be more likely that the car hit the cyclist than the cyclist hit the car. Under UK law (and based upon common sense) this would make it the car driver's fault (unless some mitigating circumstances can be found).

What makes you think that it is anything but extremely unlikely that the driver of the Tesla is not at fault?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ The Man Who Fell To Earth

"Mulligan told investigators he could not say either way whether any film was playing in the vehicle once he reached the crash site, while NTSB investigator Jane Foster stated in her report: “No Harry Potter movie file was found on the hard drive” of Brown’s Asus laptop.""

Kind regards

The author of the second El Reg link you cite.

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What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

On Friday I was t-boned by a car on a roundabout - the driver accelerated into me when I was in front of them, sending me flying (no doubt "didn't see me"). So what does this information tell us about this story; absolutely nothing!!! Though to be fair, I'm not actually sure this story tells us anything at all either, other than to be another place to see how the whole 'cyclist debate' is corrupted by people's preconceived notions and irrelevancies.

FYI not badly injured, but the bike is a write-off.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

What makes you think that it is anything but extremely unlikely that the driver of the Tesla is not at fault?

There simply is not sufficient data currently available to say who is at fault. Or even if anyone is at fault. It may well be that the Tesla was slamming down the road at 200 kph and plowed right over the totally innocent and unsuspecting cyclist... but there ain't no data currently available to draw that, or any other, conclusion. Perhaps there will be more data available later; perhaps the cyclist saw some pretty flowers on the other side of the road and turned to go smell them... right into the path of the Tesla, which was making 50 kph under the direct control of the driver. We don't know. We have no data. Making a judgement before having the data is generally considered to be Not A Good Thing. May I suggest that we wait and get some data and then make the judgement? Just a thought.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

Unsure why we're both getting downvoted to oblivion even though you've provided evidence for the incident i mentioned. Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

One of the downvotes is mine. I don't own a Telsa. I also have exactly as much information on the incident as you do, also known as 'not enough data to come to a conclusion'. You're getting downvotes for having declared the Tesla driver guilty on the basis of zero data.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

@pbm00cs - Not just UK law but worldwide. Bicycles are vehicles per international agreement and various national laws with the same right to the road as car. What is unknown is what maneuvers both were doing at the time of the collision.

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"Betting the driver was watching a dvd while driving like the last publicised Tesla incident...but i eagerly await the results of the investigation."

Unlikely on that road at that location. It may well be "predominantly straight" but it's narrow enough with plenty of obstructed view places where traffic can join that only a total moron would entrust the very simplified Tesla "auto pilot" features to maintain itself safely on the road. I've driven it many times and it's covered by Streeview if you want to have a look and virtually drive that stretch for yourself.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"On balance, it would seem to be more likely that the car hit the cyclist than the cyclist hit the car."

Having seen a cyclist suddenly turn square across the road in front - but just far enough away for an emergency stop - I'd say either is possible and, in the absence of more detailed evidence, I'd hate to decide on balance of probabilities. OTOH it does seem less likely that he was a MIMIL and learned to cycle in an age when the Highway Code was drilled into cyclists.

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Sigh.

I'll take that bet. Come on, man up... put your money where your mouth is. You had ZERO reason to make that statement, yet you're (apparently) willing to put money on it?

Incidentally, there was never any real evidence that Joshua Brown (presumably the "last publicized Tesla incident" you're referring to) was watching a movie. There was a portable DVD player found in the car and the truck driver said he thought he heard Harry Potter "blaring" after the accident. Mr. Brown was a grown ass man... it seems unlikely to me that this ex Navy Seal was watching a kid's movie at a "blaring" volume. Reports say that police found a portable DVD player in the car (no mention of whether the inserted DVD was Harry Potter to coroborate the trucker's story, but whatever) but that means nothing. In a violent crash like that, it was just as likely that the device got thrown around and turned on inadvertently than it is that he was watching this kid's movie while driving. The point is, YOU DONT KNOW then and you don't know now.

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How's that make sense? Do they only allow you to use a rearview mirror while in reverse too? It is the same view and no more distracting.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

And they are all butthurt from being sold a pup.

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Pint

Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

A13 reported, "not badly injured, but the bike is a write-off."

Nice that you're okay.

The explanation (maybe about 80% accurate) for car drivers running over cyclists is actually quite simple. Too many car drivers are using incorrect upside down logic in their driving. They're looking out for other cars, and proceeding if their reptilian brain stem doesn't see another car (includes trucks and buses). They're not looking for empty road, and proceeding only if the road is actually empty.

Their logic is backwards; dangerously wrong.

The drivers using the correct "empty road" logic will see anything. Car, buses, trucks, bicycles, escaped beasts from the zoo, anything... Doesn't matter what. They're looking for empty road.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"...having declared the >>Tesla driver<< guilty..."

You spelled >>Tesla Autopilot / Collision Avoidance System Marketing Team<< incorrectly.

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How's that make sense? Do they only allow you to use a rearview mirror while in reverse too? It is the same view and no more distracting.

I believe you are legally mandated to have 2 of the 3 rear view mirrors intact and usable. TV screen, not so much. If I were looking at my in-car entertainment touch panel whilst driving and had an accident I would expect to be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. Same goes for someone doing the same with the Tesla screen if not performing a reversing manoeuvre. I would not expect the same if I were checking my rear view mirror. One is deliberately placed within your field of view whilst driving so a quick upward flick of the eyes can check it, the other is down and to the side and considered a distraction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

The explanation (maybe about 80% accurate) for car drivers running over cyclists is actually quite simple. Too many car drivers are using incorrect upside down logic in their driving.

Nah, too many drivers just don't look. Had someone pull out in front of me at a T-junction whilst I was travelling along the major road. Had to slam on the brakes, other driver couldn't care less - "he'll stop" seemed the attitude. I should have just ploughed into the back of them if it weren't for the inconvenience.

At the weekend I had someone cut in front of me in their little Mazda 1 or similar sized city car. Too busy talking to their buddy and laughed it off. I was driving a near 3 tonne 4x4 and had to slam the brakes on as did everyone behind me. I am rapidly approaching the point at which I'm considering giving Darwin a split-second head start before braking as this driver behaviour is really starting to give me the shits.

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Re: Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

>There aren't lots of Tesla owners anywhere.

Well, we have a lot of those around here (Los Angeles), in all models and colors (Pepto-Bismol pink anyone?), and a lot of those drivers with quite an attitude ("Look at me, I am driving a Tesla, now get the f*** out of my way!")

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Devil

Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

>perhaps the cyclist saw some pretty flowers on the other side of the road and turned to go smell them...

Smelling flowers, in November, in England? I seriously doubt that...

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Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

"FYI not badly injured, but the bike is a write-off".

Good to hear you're ok. Perhaps now you'll buy a car.

(some) Cyclists are an utter liability ATM.

Until the law requires mandatory HI-Vis clothing, lights and insurance my attitude towards quite a few of the two wheeled, lane hogging, red light ignoring arseholes isn't going to improve.

Same goes for moped / scooter riders too.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth: a_yank_lurker

"Bicycles are vehicles per international agreement and various national laws with the same right to the road as car".

Yet don't require insurance, an annual worthiness test, a proficiency test, to be visible at night and an understanding that red means STOP and green means GO.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"On balance, it would seem to be more likely that the car hit the cyclist than the cyclist hit the car. Under UK law (and based upon common sense) this would make it the car driver's fault (unless some mitigating circumstances can be found)"

...mitigating circumstance like maybe the old codger fell or swerved or shot out in front of the car, for instance. Let's be fair, not many 80-year-olds are completely as wide awake as, say, the average 40-year-old. Facts are facts. Yes I know, "collision avoidance", but with the best will in the world, and the best programming and brakes and suspension and anything else you can think of, you can't avoid 100% of collisions.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"The Tesla S 90D is an expensive sports car." This is a saloon car (or a Sports Saloon if you prefer).

Tesla used to market a rather nice sports car but I don't think they sell it anymore.

Not all sports cars are fast (mine is 45 years old won't even get close to 100mph) and there is nothing to indicate that this vehicle was being driven at excessive speed, nor that the cyclist didn't have a heart attack and fall beneath the wheels of the car, unless you have information beyond that provided here and elsewhere of course?

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Unhappy

Actually, they also display a map from a satnav as well as reverse angle when reversing. But I've only been in one the once. Cool gadgets but this looks like the usual road user makes a minor error (cyclist or driver) on a country road and cyclist pays the price. A minor error by a cyclist deserves the death penalty. The point is that an 80-year old cycling on a public road died in a road accident. Whatever the "data" shows to satisfy those who think its a question of pointing the finger, it's not acceptable.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

Most of us here can remember how miffed El Reg was over the refusal of Tesla's PR department to play ball with it on a particular story some time back. Clearly, El Reg is still miffed, to the extent that anything with the word "Tesla" in it is worth chronicling. Perhaps you're not aware of that? And perhaps you're also unaware that an RTA is like any other kind of untoward incident, causality arising not from one or two factors but many?

Your simple-minded rush to judgment is only marginally less irritating than El Reg's decision to publish this non-story in the first place.

Ah well. Must dash. I need to ring Toyota's PR department for a comment on the Prius which knocked over an octagenarian pedestrian in Wigan last week. . . and then put a call into Ford PR about a Fiesta which crashed through a wall in Reading and flattened two innocent gnomes. I expect the representatives of both motor manufacturers to immediately tell me the reasons for these incidents.

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Trollface

Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

u mad bro?

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Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

' Perhaps now you'll buy a car.'

And contribute to the extending traffic queue. No thanks. Not all cyclists are as you describe, the RLJ'ers are an annoyance to us as well.

You want all cyclists to wear hi-viz, the problem is most accidents are side swipes where the hi-viz doesn't get noticed. Lights/Reflectors are mandated by law - if not fitted then cyclists should be (and are occasionally) prosecuted. Maybe, as road users we could all just watch out for each other rather.

As for insurance, who is going to enforce it? Probably the same people who can't enforce VED, MOT and Car insurance.

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Pint

Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

Maybe someone's been showing them "alternative storage places" for their bloody DVD players and other toys they play with when they should be focused on the road.

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Re: Lots of butthurt Tesla owners here?

'and a lot of those drivers with quite an attitude ("Look at me, I am driving a Tesla, now get the f*** out of my way!" '

Are Audi bleeding sales to Tesla over there, then?

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Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

@cornz 1

"(some) Cyclists are an utter liability ATM.

Until the law requires mandatory HI-Vis clothing, lights and insurance my attitude towards quite a few of the two wheeled, lane hogging, red light ignoring arseholes isn't going to improve."

"Yet don't require insurance, an annual worthiness test, a proficiency test, to be visible at night and an understanding that red means STOP and green means GO"

Have a downvote nob, in fact have several, then go off and learn the actual provisions of the road traffic act or whatever it may be called in the UK - both from the perspective of motorists and cyclists

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

" ... It's is likely that it was traveling at a substantial speed ..."

You're speculating about speed when there is no evidence whatsoever, yet, of the speed of either party, or why or how the accident happened. We might just as easily speculate that the cyclist failed to stop while crossing a road and piled into the side of a stationary Tesla—but no reporting has told us *anything* so it would be equally stupid to start assigning "probabilities".

The incontinent spraying of uninformed theories and blame at this point, some of it betraying nothing more than witless axe-grinding, should put Reg readers to shame.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

On balance, it would seem to be more likely that the car hit the cyclist than the cyclist hit the car.

I don't know if that is the statistical case and, even if it was, that doesn't prove it is the case here.

I refer the jury to my mate who cycled down a long straight road and right into the back of a double-decker bus which had been parked up after breaking down. He still has no idea how he never saw it and has always been honest about it being his own fault.

These things happen, the mind wanders, then >BANG<

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

To paraphrase a saying about pilots, here are old cyclists and there are bold cyclists, but there are no old bold cyclists.

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Good to hear you're ok. Perhaps now you'll buy a car.

Jeez, I'd love to be in a position to get rid of my car. Being able to bike or walk to work would be great.

Or having mass transit here - my idea of the ideal commute is me reading a paper and having a coffee while someone else drives.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

"why spend £70,000 on a fast car and then not go fast?"

Sensible people who buy fast cars for 70 grand (and more, and less) take their speed to the track. Croft and Barford circuits aren't that far away. Barely more than a half hour. Maybe the battery would run out before he got there, though? Is that the "mitigating circumstances" you're looking for?

The limit at Shincliffe is 40 mph. The cyclist was heading south (per the local papers -- you can look up the Chronicle and the Northern Echo yourself though.

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Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth: a_yank_lurker

"Yet don't require insurance, an annual worthiness test, a proficiency test, to be visible at night and an understanding that red means STOP and green means GO."

Insurance, roadworthiness and proficiency tests aside, bikes are required to be visible at night in the UK and the US, and cyclists are are required to follow the rules of the road; which include not breaking the push-bike speed limit of 25 mph. (You get a lot of pop-pop bikes being impounded in the US for doing 30.)

Other road users also subject to all the same conditions as cyclists include walkers, runners, skateboarders, rollerbladers, wheelchair users. Are you butthurt about them, too?

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Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

SMIDSY! (Sorry mate, I didn't see ya)

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Really, and it can't be circumvented? Like the Academic who I regularly saw watching the BBC new's on her Merc sports cars flip out screen whilst driving, even though it wasn't supposed to be able to do that. Never underestimate the ingenuity of a determined idiot...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point of all these anecdotal comments???

"Nah, too many drivers just don't look." too many screens to watch the road distraction usually, "Had someone pull out in front of me at a T-junction whilst I was travelling along the major road. Had to slam on the brakes, other driver couldn't care less - "he'll stop" seemed the attitude." ride a motorcycle and it's even more common, there it's "He'll have to stop or he'll get hurt".

"At the weekend I had someone cut in front of me in their little Mazda 1 or similar sized city car. Too busy talking to their buddy and laughed it off. I was driving a near 3 tonne 4x4 and had to slam the brakes on as did everyone behind me." be glad you managed to, I had a middle aged woman in a Corsa do that to me ~10 years ago, except she cut it too close at hit me, still suffering from the whip-lash wrenching of my neck and shoulder. No matter I was in a Bright White Discovery and clearly visible, IF she'd bothered to look, but like most darting roller skate drivers she assumed everyone else can change lane and avoid as quickly and easily with a flick of the wrist as they can...

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Shouldn't be on the road then.

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