Go to the Tesla Motors website, and you’ll be greeted by a picture of the Tesla Model S and the words, “The Safest Car in America.”
Those are some pretty big words, coming from such a small company, but could it be that Tesla Motors is one of the few automakers who are doing it right? Every time I have to ride in an aging Toyota HiAce van, with a dozen other people, and a couple sheep for good measure, with no seatbelts and a Three-Star ANCAP [Australasian New Car Assessment Program] rating, I wish I was in an NHTSA [National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration] Five-Star vehicle, such as the Tesla Model S.
In August, the NHTSA granted the Tesla Model S a Five-Star rating, for frontal, side, and roll-over crashes, a rating that probably doesn’t mean anything unless you’ve ever been in a crash, or want to avoid injury and possible death. Considering that thousands of people die every year in automobile accidents, NHTSA ratings are a good thing to look at.
On the other hand, it’s one thing to test the the Tesla Model S under laboratory conditions, using high-speed cameras and sensor-laden crash-test dummies, but what about in real life? On the Tesla Motors forums, a Tesla Model S driver on Long Island, New York, was involved in an accident, which beautifully illustrated the safe design of the car, as well as the inherent danger of distracted driving. Here, I’ll let the driver explain…
“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 luck enough to walk away with no broken bones while the person who hit me left in an ambulance. I can tell you with absolute certainty, my model S protected me where other cars would have failed. This recent story of the car being unsafe due to a battery fire is ridiculous. My car did not so much as smoke, and not a drop of liquid was released. This is the safest car on the road hands down, and for me, I can say honestly say it saved my life. Thank you Elon..”
Image © Tesla Motors Forum