While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is starting to investigate the cause of the Tesla Model S battery fire, the driver of another crashed Model S thinks it's "the safest car on the road hands down." That comes from a Tesla Motors Club forum entry published with a slide show by Treehugger.

The anonymous driver, under the forum user name "jdovi," describes the crash as evidence that the Model S and its lithium ion battery pack saved his life. He wrote:

Yesterday I was in a terrible car accident with my beloved Model S. I was hit by a driver who was talking on her cell phone and blew a red light. I got slammed at full speed while passing through an intersection. I was [lucky] enough to walk away with no broken bones while the person who hit me left in an ambulance.

Treehugger's slideshow has more good information, but it's annoying to click through a bunch of slides just to read a little paragraph on each one. Here's a tip: if you click through to slide number seven, you'll see the totaled Hyundai Elantra that hit the Model S. And slide number eight is just a teaser to read other Treehugger articles.


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  • 16 Comments
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai & compliance commuter clown cars... I wouldn't wish them on anyone... even trolls. ;-) I wish I didn't look at the photos ... real buzz kill... I'm glad everyone will be o.k. though.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is actually getting pretty humorous. There's a single car crash, the car catches on fire. Multiple news reports from multiple sources. Government investigations. Interviews with the person who is actually in the accident. I look at it like, any vehicle that is carrying any large energy source, be that gasoline, electric, fuel-cell, hydrogen, Mr. fusion, etc., has the potential to catch on fire.
      Doug
      • 1 Year Ago
      "News Source: Treehugger via Tesla Motors Club forum" Sorry, this is backwards. The news source is TMC, and Treehugger is using those photos without permission. You can see the rest of the photos down thread here: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/22304-I-m-living-proof-the-Model-S-is-the-safest-car-ever-made!?p=459300&viewfull=1#post459300 No need to bother with Treehugger's annoying slideshow.
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think it's good to have some evidence that a Tesla can go through a big crash and not catch fire. Sure, it's anecdotal but it is there to refute, in pictures, the idea that Tesla's catch fire in crashes. The more normal situations people see Tesla in the more mainstream Tesla gets. But there has to be good news to balance out the inevitable bad news. So in that way I think this is timely and relatively positive real-world PR for Tesla. And if this is put next to the news that NHTSA isn't going through an official investigation of the fire crash it makes the ModelS come off as a rather safe car in the minds of the vast majority of folks who are hearing this news. People can see that this stuff isn't coordinated by Tesla or Elon himself. (Flat-earthers aside) And for the record I don't think it's calling ICE's death traps to point out that there are more flammable fluids and sources of ignition in an ICE compared to a ModelS or other EV's. That's extreme, and I know extreme :-)
      brotherkenny4
      • 1 Year Ago
      To be fair, singular anecdotal incidences are never proof of anything. Unfortunately many people don't understand what I just said in that last sentence. I suspect the S may be one of the safest cars ever, but statistical analysis would be required to confirm that. I believe there is likely significant information regarding EVs in general that would already allow the relative safety level to be shown to be exceptional. Insurance companies could do this. Our media is not interested in such things. I suspect (or believe if you think believing is somehow superior to speculation) that the lower amounts of flammable hydrocarbons and the increased vehicle rigidity provided by the packs would make EV safer. Now, to be fair, one must consider the different types of ignition source for leaking hydrocarbons that is provided by the electric system (more spark sources), but ICE have numerous spark sources also as well as thermal ignition sources, so that may be a wash.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        It might very well be that the Model S is better than your average car, but I'd have to agree with your assessment. At this point it can be the red light syndrome and any luxury vehicle would have given similar safety to the passenger. I'm happy this guy is safe and I'm sorry the girl was hurt (due to her own negligence) and the car protected him. I can also understand his exuberance at surviving this trauma. I still plan on getting my Model S in two years and I look forward to feeling a little safer, even if it is in my own mind.
          Jon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          There are a couple other advantages for the Model S. Without an engine block in the front the crush zone is much larger and can absorb much more energy for frontal impacts.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Almost any vehicle, luxury or no would have been fine. He was hit from the side on the front of the car. This doesn't transmit much energy to the passengers, it spins the car or tears the front of the car off. Either of those outcomes is fine. Spin is actually a decent way to dissipate energy. The Elantra guy was hurt because he was directly in line with the force of the collision, while the Model S person was off axis. If he had been t-boned in the doors, then we could talk about the different strengths of luxury (expensive) car doors versus cheaper car doors (and especially older car doors), but that didn't happen here. To look at it a more absurdist way, if he were on a motorcycle or in a smart car, the other car might have missed him completely if it passed 4 feet in front of the driver like that, because the "nose" of those vehicles is so much shorter. I'm glad he's fine.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          +1
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @Rotation Was it a guy? The quote says that it was a woman. If the driver didn't get that information correct it goes to show that in an accident your perceptions are thrown off.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        ICE cars generally do not catch fire in wrecks, even in violent ones. Very few ICE car fires have collision as a contributing factor. People spend a lot of time complaining the Model S got a fair shake over one fire, and then cite the idea that ICE cars are fiery deathtraps. It's bizarre. There is no information so far that shows that EVs on the whole are exceptionally safe when compared to other automobiles.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          With 20K vehicles and only 1 year on the road it is very difficult to create realistic statistical probabilities when comparing to gas cars that have had decades of data.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Asking a person who was in a crash how safe their car is is about as useful as acting an actor about politics. The same kind of "my car saved my life" is what put people onto SUVs in the 90s. They thought since they didn't get hurt in this wreck their SUV must be amazingly safe. They were wrong. The average person hasn't been in enough wrecks to know how a car should behave in a particular circumstance of wreck. I'm not saying the car is unsafe, not at all. I'm just saying the man on the street's testimonial does not indicate much at all about whether a vehicle is safe.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        I agree, the nhtsa 5 star test results are a better measurement of the vehicles safety.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Too true. But even those tests cannot cover every circumstance and situation as is evidenced by the rupturing of the battery pack by road debris. In recent years, negligence (distracted driving) has ballooned to frightening numbers. The truth is that interacting with cars is probably the most dangerous thing we all deal with on a daily basis. They are large heavy objects moving at high speeds carrying big energy sources to power them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year
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