The Tesla Model S was designed to be the safest car in its segment, going by comments made by company execs including CEO Elon Musk. Its NHTSA crash test ratings were the highest in history — with 5 stars in every single category and a combined score of 5.4 (unofficial, since official scores don’t go above 5). Going by its performance in the real world to date, the goal and the rating seem to have lived up to the hype.
On that subject, there was recently a high-speed crash on the Autobahn in Germany where, despite the Tesla Model S being totaled, the driver managed to exit the car himself.
The driver was reportedly seriously injured it should be noted (which is in no way surprising when you look at the image), but considering the damage, it looks as though he would have certainly been killed were he driving a vehicle less structurally reinforced than the Model S.
Here’s an overview of what happened from Badische Neueste Nachrichten (as put through a clumsy online translation service):
“The speed must have been tremendous: A Tesla sports car ‘dug’ into a barrier on the Autobahn 5 between Rasthof Bruchsal and Kronau on Tuesday morning. The 56-year-old driver from the Karlsruhe area was seriously injured, but he was able to leave his completely destroyed vehicle independently and bring himself to safety. …
“At about 11:34, the emergency personnel were alerted about the accident that occurred on the left lane of the motorway at a construction site. According to information from the Bruchsal fire brigade, a construction company was just about to set up a construction site on the left lane. Possibly, the driver in the accident overlooked the barrier vehicle and the barrier, which asks the driver to change lanes. The cause of the accident could not yet be given.”
Pictures on that site show the Tesla Model S lifting up a large trailer yet the roof of the Model S remaining strong enough to protect the driver from premature death.
There was no mention of the vehicle catching fire in the report, and there seem to have been no immediate problems with the battery pack either, despite the fact that the Model S was totaled. It was reportedly towed from the scene. So, another example of the fact that Teslas aren’t walking bombs and fire hazards like some try to paint them to be.
Notably, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on the matter:
Model S smashes into semi truck trailer and lifts it off the ground. Driver walks away. https://t.co/NSuMvcYaA6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 1, 2016