Tesla Model S Gets Rear-Ended by a Semi-Truck, Driver Walks Away

The IIHS may want to add a “great” score to its crash test results for Tesla’s electric car.

byLiane Yvkoff|
Electric Vehicles photo


Crash test scores give you a general understanding of how well a vehicle would perform in common accidents, but pictures from real-world collisions can help put those results in meaningful context. A user on the popular message board Reddit posted photos of the aftermath of a Tesla Model S rear-end collision with a Volvo truck, and it's hard to tell whether the electric sedan or the semi came out worse.

Typically when a tractor trailer rear-ends a passenger vehicle, the truck has the advantage. However, the Model S has a curb weight of 4,647 pounds, and that mass helps it stand up to a 10-ton truck. Being a quarter of the weight of a semi is still a disadvantage, but the 1,200-lb. flat battery pack strapped to the frame helps even the playing field a bit by reinforcing the structural integrity of the vehicle. 

IIHS rates Model S rear crash test "good," small front overlap "acceptable"

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety released its crash test results for the Tesla Model S today, and found it earned only an "acceptable" rating for its small front overlap crash test, noting that the seat belt placement needed to be modified for better upper body protection. It received a "good" rating on its rear crash test, but that score doesn't do the vehicle justice. 

The Reddit post's author reported that the driver of the Model S walked away from the collision safe and believes the Tesla saved his life. The Model S was recently purchased by the author on eBay, and it was transit to to the Redditor, but the transaction had not been completed and the title was still in the original owner's name. And yes, he plans to buy another Tesla.

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