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Is this the first Tesla Cybertruck crash in the wild?

The stainless steel pickup flexed its muscle against a Toyota Corolla

Tesla Cybertruck CrashImage credit: Reddit, u/boddhya

The Tesla Cybertruck is almost more of a meme than an actual vehicle at this point, which makes any incident involving the angular chunk of stainless steel a real treat for the company’s critics. A Reddit user posted pictures of the most recent incident – a crash in California – and while it’s still likely to generate chuckles, we’re glad that nobody got seriously hurt. Now, with this incident out there for the general public to see, we have our first real-world look at that steel wedge’s ability to protect occupants from damage (and deal some damage itself).

The Verge found the post by u/boddhya and confirmed the story with the California Highway Patrol, which could be the first in-the-wild crash for the truck. Officials said a 17-year-old in a Toyota Corolla veered off the road and hit an embankment before over-correcting, re-entering the road, and striking the Cybertruck. 

Though the Corolla looks particularly gnarly in the Reddit images, the only injury was to the Cybertruck driver and did not require medical care. Tesla’s “bulletproof” pickup appears to have come out of the crash in much better shape than the Toyota, though we don’t have much information to go on.

With all due respect (sort of), Tesla’s owners are among the most zealous of any brand’s drivers for better or worse, but this is one time where the other person appears to be at fault. The Cybertruck driver was allegedly not using an autonomous driving mode at the time of the crash, and the roads in the Palo Alto area where the collision occurred are notoriously curvy, with poor visibility being a significant issue. 

The Cybertruck’s brutal shape and sharp angles raised many safety questions over the damage it could cause to other vehicles and people. Early critics call out the truck’s thick stainless steel “exoskeleton” as being too rigid and more dangerous in a crash than traditional materials. At the same time, trucks are more dangerous than cars in general, and the Tesla is still far too new to draw any solid conclusions about its overall safety. 


Chris Teague
the authorChris Teague