Tesla: Still the Safest Car on the Road

August 22, 2016


This hits home for me. I was a street paramedic for  15 years  – the pictures of the intact passenger compartment on a crushed Tesla above speak volumes, and demonstrate the safety features that only an electric vehicle can provide.
This sets the standard.
I’ll be doing more on the already-in-progress EV revolution in coming months.


Orthopaedic surgeon Jonathan Braman has spent a lot of time working on patients injured in violent car accidents. That’s why he knew what to expect for his family and himself after his Tesla Model X was struck by a large GMC truck at over 45 mph after it ran a red light. To his surprise however, all 6 passengers (and his dog) walked away from the severe accident.

Braman credits Tesla and Elon Musk for keeping his family away from serious injury or death by designing what could very well be one of the safest vehicles ever built. Let’s take a look at all of the factors why through Braman’s accident, which happened in Bloomington, MN, over the weekend.

As mentioned, Braman is an orthopaedic surgeon from Edina, Minnesota. He is a longtime electric vehicle enthusiast and Tesla supporter. He owns a Tesla Roadster (#1102 which he bought in 2010) and he reserved his Model X back in 2012, which means he had to wait four years to get the vehicle.

He took delivery of the all-electric SUV in April and while he only had the vehicle for 4 months, he now says that he would gladly wait another 4 years if it can save his family from any severe injuries again.

Last weekend, again only 4 months after receiving his Model X, Braman was making a turn on a green light from East Bush Lake road to I-494 in Bloomington, he made sure no one was coming from the other side even though the light was red on the opposite side of the 4-lane road, but as he made the turn, a large GMC Yukon ran the red light and hit the front fender of the Model X on the passenger side.

Based on the distance the truck traveled in the second he saw it before the impact, Braman estimates that the truck was going well over 45 mph.

He was particularly surprised by the efficient deployment of the airbags in the Model X. He says it covered the entire passenger compartment including the full panoramic windshield, which runs all the way over the driver and front passenger. Braman says that his only injury is actually from the impact of the airbag on his hand. He had it x-rayed at the hospital and while it is bruised, nothing is broken. Fortunately, same goes for everyone else in the car, including his father who was sitting in the front passenger seat – only inches from the impact point.

As you can see from the pictures, it’s another great example of the large crumple zone, which is due to the lack of a large combustion engine in the front, taking the bulk of the impact. Although less severe, the aftermath is reminiscent of the spectacular Tesla Model S crash after flying 82+ft in the air, which also showed the importance of a large crumple zone – something easier to accomplish in designing an electric vehicle.

Branman says that despite the severity of the impact, the Model X barely moved since the truck just ripped through the “frunk” of the Model X.

Additionally, Braman believes that if he was in any other car, the vehicle would have likely rolled over from the impact. The Yukon stands higher than the Model X and weighs about the same – roughly 5,450 pounds. He thinks that the low center of gravity, thanks to the large battery pack, helped keep the Model X on the ground.


3 Responses to “Tesla: Still the Safest Car on the Road”

  1. redskylite Says:

    As someone who has suffered life long pain & problems from a vehicle accident in my teens, I can see that safety is unfortunately often overlooked and forgotten and the Tesla is a well designed and a very safe car. It’s indeed a great car and one of the early leaders in coaxing the mobile public away from direct fossil burning.

    Summary on results of 4 year long MIT research on “Can today’s EVs make a dent in climate change?”.

    Yes it can, but needs a push from governments and the new car industry.

    Can today’s EVs make a dent in climate change?

    Electric vehicles can meet drivers’ needs enough to replace nearly 90 percent of vehicles now on the road.


  2. MorinMoss Says:

    I don’t know what’s the worst you’ve seen in 15 yrs on the street but car crashes are probably high on the list.
    As good as a Tesla is – and there are other cars that are very safe – they can’t (yet) prevent every tragedy.

    This recent crash of a SUV into the back of a stationary Tesla has put a teenage girl into critical care and her 10 year old sister into the grave.


    And through no fault of their own, that family is about to learn the hardest of life’s lessons and one of the saddest sayings in any language.

    “The smallest coffins weigh the most”

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