Tesla in 'self-drive' mode crashes into Fullerton police vehicle

A Tesla that was in ‘self-drive’ mode crashed into a Fullerton police car that was on the scene of a fatal collision. 

An officer was managing traffic following a deadly accident at the intersection of W. Orangethorpe Ave. and Courtney Ave. just after midnight on June 13.

According to the police department, the police vehicle had its emergency lights on, and several flares were placed on the road when a blue Tesla crashed into the police vehicle, which was blocking traffic.

The officer spotted the car and quickly moved to the side of the road, narrowly dodging the Tesla. 

Police say the Tesla driver admitted to using his vehicle's 'self-drive' mode while being on his cell phone… a violation of California law.


"Self-driving mode can be convenient, but always remember the importance of staying alert and ready to take over at any moment. While there are no laws against the "self-drive" mode, all rules and laws of the road still apply to the driver while controlling the vehicle," the police department said in a statement. 

The Tesla driver remained on the scene and cooperated with the investigation. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives in 2022. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating, and drinking.