Gearhead News

February 4, 2021
Dodge Challenger Racing a Tesla Model 3 Wrecks Hard on California Freeway

In George Orwell’s infamous dystopian fiction novel, 1984, he describes a society where “Big Brother” is always watching. The same can be said for 2021, where cameras are just about everywhere and everything you do in public probably ends up as video footage—that includes what you do in your car on public streets.

A clip posted to YouTube shows the view from a Tesla Model 3 as a Dodge Challenger chases the all-electric sedan. Both vehicles seem to be traveling quickly, racing against one another when the Challenger fails to change lanes at the right time and causes an accident that never should’ve happened. And the kicker is, he probably had no clue it was all on camera.

via YouTube | Wham Baam TeslaCam

The footage, which was spotted by InsideEVs, is from the Wham Baam Tesla Cam YouTube channel, which posts compilation videos made from clips that viewers send in of their Tesla’s onboard cameras capturing noteworthy events. 

According to commentary from the video’s producer, the Tesla Model 3 that captured the footage was driving late at night in the left-most lane of a busy Los Angeles freeway. He goes on to mention that the driver of the Tesla who sent in the clip claims that they were overtaking slower traffic, including a Dodge Challenger, but it’s hard to defend that statement seeing how they both blew through the jam. Evidently, the Challenger took the pass as a call-out because that car can be seen poking out of its lane and weaving through traffic to catch up to the Tesla.

The Challenger then passes a large SUV, which looks like a ninth-generation Chevrolet Suburban, by cutting into the right lane. As the Dodge does this, the Model 3 exits the left lane and effectively hides behind the SUV. It appears that the driver of the Challenger may have meant to cut into the same lane as the Tesla, but was caught off-guard by the Model 3’s abrupt change and instead rear-ended the car in front of it. The 4,400-pound Challenger continued to barrel down the highway and lost control, striking the next car in the lane and sending at least two of the involved vehicles into the concrete barrier on the side of the highway.

Now, there’s a lot to unpack here and unfortunately, we couldn’t find any reports from local news to give a clear picture of what authorities believed may have happened. But it sure does feel like the two cars were both traveling at unsafe speeds when the accident happened.

While the Tesla driver claims to have been passing slower-moving traffic, the video reads like the two cars were having too much fun on public roads and things got out of hand when both tried to shoot the gap. The Tesla driver also said that they didn’t notice the carnage behind them—despite the sparks and inevitable sound from the wreck—but still went home and checked the footage from TeslaCam where they then saw the accident. Unfortunately, there’s not enough footage in the YouTube video to draw any conclusion, but something doesn’t smell right about the explanation.

Regardless, this is a perfect reminder to play it safe on the public highway, especially as traffic begins to pick up again. And if you do end up driving in an unsafe manner, remember that cameras aren’t just on the side of the road to catch your speed anymore—anybody with a Tesla (or a dashcam) can post your douchebaggery to YouTube.

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