A video of a Kia Soul taking flight on a highway has gone viral on Twitter, thanks to a Tesla on Autopilot that captured the incident on its dash cam.
Twitter user Anoop_Khatra was driving his Tesla down the freeway when a Kia Soul rushed past in the fast lane. Soon after, it was passing a truck in the adjacent lane. Exactly then, the front left tyre of the truck came loose and rolled right under the Kia, launching it ten feet into the air.
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The Kia Soul fell baback on the road on its nose, parts and debris scattering everywhere. The Testa’s Autopilot system automatically swerved to avoid the flying wheel, and stopped safely. The Kia finally ended up back on four wheels, while the runaway tyre hit it from the back once more, for good measure – this time without causing any further damage to car or human inside.
Fortunately, the Kia driver walked away unharmed according to Anoop Khatra. The car was seriously damaged in the incident. If there is a video that proves the value of seatbelts, this is it.
Tesla drivers and other road users have found the feature helpful in providing footage of accidents that would otherwise be hard to explain to investigators.
The Kia driver was protected from being thrown around the cabin or jostled around during the crash landing thanks to the seat belts. Investigators are looking into whether the truck’s wheel spacers caused the detachment of the wheel from the vehicle.
All Tesla models made after March 2018 come with the Dashcam feature as standard, which uses the car’s video cameras to capture footage on the go and allows the driver to save the captured videos on a USB stick. The videos can also be previewed on the car’s main screen after a software update in 2020.12.5.
This is a rare case when even deensive driving would not have helped the Kia driver – but the car certainly saved him. We all overtake hundreds of vehicles whle traveling long distance on a highway. But none of us ever expect a wheel to detach, and come rolling under your car. The time available to the driver would be too little, like in this case, where the entire thing happened in a fraction of a second. No reflexes or defensive driving would have saved the driver but the safety structure of the car definitely did! If you need another reason to buy a highly safe car, this is what you were looking for.
Why did the truck tyre detach?
‘Sheared off lug nuts’ was the reason, according to some sources. Some others suspected spacers used on the truck tyres to give it a wider stance.
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