Highway Patrol officers narrowly escaped death or injury when a car plowed into their parked patrol car despite 100 meters of traffic cones and flashing warning lights placed behind it.
At around 10:00pm last night, highway police attended the scene of an accident on Freeway 3 in Hsinchu County, and were directing traffic around the site when the driver of a white Tesla slammed into one of two patrol cars. The patrol car was pushed forward by the impact and hit the second patrol car.
Two officers directing traffic with lit batons jumped out of the way just in time.
The 29 year-old driver of the Tesla woke up with a start as his car, which he had set on autopilot hit the patrol car. Mr Lin was alcohol tested and was found to have no alcohol reaction.
Lin told police that he had finished a long shift at work after having started at 6:00am in the morning, and was driving home tired. Upon entering the freeway, Lin engaged the autopilot and was feeling drowsy. He did not notice the 100 meters of flashing lights and traffic cones as he approached the scene of the accident.
The patrol car and NT$3 million Tesla, were extensively damaged, but fortunately nobody was injured in the accident.
Police appealed to the public to abide by traffic regulations and have sufficient rest before driving. If necessary, drivers can rest in service areas and reduce fatigue before continuing on the freeway.
On its website, Tesla stresses that “Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time.”
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