The car, perhaps a late 2000’s Honda Accord, didn’t spontaneously combust, but it was impaled, which could have killed the driver, and it wasn’t a Tesla Model S.
With all the bad press that Tesla Model S has been getting, regarding three lithium-ion battery fires after being impaled by road debris, it got me thinking about other highway accidents that have results in impalings, fires, or both, and there is seemingly no end to the reports. A quick Google search for images with the keywords “highway,” “vehicle,” and “impaled,” and it’ll return a slew of photos, some of them downright scary and gruesome. Interestingly, they’re not all about Tesla Model S. Go figure!
Here’s a story of an Nebraska commuter, who probably has a ho-hum sixty- or ninety-minute commute from his home in Lincoln to his job in Omaha. This day was as any other weekday, except for a strange bump in the road, which didn’t raise any cause for concern, so he continued on to work. Reaching into the back seat to grab his briefcase, the driver notices a strange object wedged in his seat cushion, a piece of two-inch angle iron, perhaps between four and six feet long, jagged and bent from bouncing down the highway…
It’s plain to see that the car is not a Tesla Model S, rather, a mid-2000s Honda Accord. I could be wrong on the specifics, but it is most definitely a Honda. The floor panels in most conventional vehicles is nothing more than sheet metal between 0.0359” and 0.0478” thick (18ga to 20ga), which would present almost zero resistance to a 0.1875” piece of angle iron.
Had the angle iron entered the vehicle a few inches forward, the driver would most likely never have made it to work that day. Actually, a Tesla Model S, with the lithium-ion battery pack, a few inches thick, as well as 0.25” armor plating (2ga aluminum, I’m guessing), would mostly likely have shrugged off impalement. Even if it was damaged, the driver and passengers would still be in perfect safety.
Image © DangerousTrailers.org [screenshot]