The Drive Talks To Tesla Model S Driver Who Was Rear-Ended By A Big Rig

Crashed silver Tesla Model S


Tesla Model S Rear End After The Collision

Tesla Model S Rear End After The Collision (via Exmachina70/Imgur)

The Volvo Rig Was Totalled After Rear-Ending the Tesla Model S

The Volvo Rig Was Totalled After Rear-Ending the Tesla Model S (via Exmachina70/Imgur)

The Tesla Model S driver that was recently rear-ended by a Volvo big rig had a phone interview with The Drive. He and his wife have decided that, due to the safety of the Model S, they are purchasing Tesla vehicles for the entire family.

He explained the feeling of being launched by the immediate 40 mph collision:

“It was nothing like Ludicrous mode. Launch control is amazing. But this was otherworldly.”

Gardner’s 200-mile trip to deliver the Tesla Model S to a would-be eBay buyer, was cut 15 miles short when the four-car accident occurred. He ended up in stop and go traffic, but the Volvo truck failed to stop. Instead, it ended up completely on top of the rear-end of his vehicle, which was subsequently pushed into two other vehicles. The Tesla and the Volvo were stuck together such that two trucks had to work together to pull the vehicles apart. Gardner said:

“The entire weight of the truck was sitting on top of the Tesla.”

“It was a four-car accident, and I hit every single one of them.”

Surprisingly, the rear window just buckled, and the cabin remained completely intact. Aside from some whiplash and aches and pains, Gardner came out of the incident uninjured. He maintains that if he was in his sports car, he would have been dead. Had he been in his Ford F-150, he may have lived, but would have surely sustained substantial injuries. He shared:

“When I got home, my wife said we need to order Teslas for everybody else in the family.”

“I told her I’d been thinking the same thing on the way home.”

The Volvo big rig was a 40-ton truck, competing with the ~5,000-pound Model S. Gardner believes that the 1,200-pound flat battery pack kept the truck’s front end from being in his back seat. Regardless, the Model S was considered a total loss by the insurance company, so Gardner will get about $50,000 to apply toward the purchase of his next Tesla. He already has a new Tesla Model S that he purchased previous to the accident.

Source: The Drive

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

44 Comments on "The Drive Talks To Tesla Model S Driver Who Was Rear-Ended By A Big Rig"

newest oldest most voted

Maybe he can buy one for me too.

Funny! I never thought, when I survived my own accident, flipping and rolling in my car, or survived the one where I could not turn fast enough to avoid a stopped car, and hit at maybe 45-50 Mph, or at least 40 Mph, “I should buy more of these cars for the family!”

Maybe it was because I was not so flush with Cash?

I’ve seen quite a few “OMG, my Tesla was in an accident where I would have died if I was in any other car!!! I’m buying another Tesla immediately!!” posts on the Tesla forums.

I’m like “……really? That’s the first thing that comes to mind after an accident?”


It actually probably is.

I’m sure your reaction would be “now I can lose more money trying to short TSLA”

Probably the first thing you think of by the time you get around to posting on social media after escaping death. Yes.

Actually this kind of “endorsement” isn’t surprising at all.

I have heard sworn loyalties from various car owners…

From an early Gen 1 Saturn, to Acura TL, from F150 to Chevy Tahoe, from Honda Accord to Toyota Highlander, from Honda Odyssey to Subaru Forester…

Apparently similar stories from Volt and LEAF owners and i3 owners also appeared before.

So, it isn’t surprising that Tesla would get its share of owner endorsement as well.

I wonder if the Tesla Model S that lost a daughter from the rear end collison by a Chevy Tahoe still endorses Tesla Model S?

It is amazing how often you’ll see or hear an entirely emotional reaction, rather than a logical or practical one, to surviving a serious accident. I even remember stories from the old days before airbags, where someone claimed they were “lucky to be thrown clear” of the accident… despite having broken limbs and life-threatening injuries! The reactions which I find the most dumbfounding — and furthest removed from anything resembling logic or sense — are those from people who have been maimed or crippled, who say “I’m lucky that I came through that so well.” Well no, if you were actually lucky, you either wouldn’t have had the accident in the first place, or at worst you would have received only minor injuries. I do understand the emotional reaction from looking back at the wrecked automobile you escaped from, especially if you did not receive any serious injuries, and saying “It’s amazing I survived!” But with modern cars, air bags and mandatory use of full-restraint seat belts allows people to escape very serious accidents without serious injury, in many many types and brands of cars. This isn’t at all to suggest that Tesla’s cars don’t deserve their superb record for… Read more »

If there were rear facing child seats in the trunk with children in them . They would have Perished as well ..I’m not Impressed!

Those supposedly have another piece of frame to protect occupants. I’m curious: has a Model S with RFS ever been rear-ended?

Spoonman is correct, Model S cars fitted with a jump seat in the rear have an additional pair of supports to protect against rear-end collisions. I don’t know if they would be enough for this situation but they did take extra precautions for people that buy the jump seat.

Yes, the extra protection is in the bumper.

But it won’t do a thing when the truck gets on top of the frame/bumper.

Look, another new username has magically appeared to spread anti-Tesla FUD.

I wonder which one of the existing trolls/shorters/shills/haters who registered a new username to post their FUD with is, sven, Spiegel???

definitely a variant on a prior poster’s name. It is hard to know exactly who, when it is clear we are being intentionally trolled.

Ijmijonjak stu catso Etc:

You Brainwashed IDIOTS are sold on a Bill of Goods & Can’t take the truth or Constructive Criticism …You TOTALLY BRAIN WASHED…

Yawn. Troll says what?

Man, how do you keep up with all your jiffy…er… jimi johns!

BTW., That tractor Is “FAR FROM TOTALED”‘.That IS “BS” There is only minimal fiberglass Damage (((Fiberglass easily breaks))) & headlight Damage & Bumper Cover..The semi Driver Didn’t even Feel That Impact..It’s Like an Elephant Swatting a Fly .. This is a “BS” article …THANK GOD THERE WERE NO CHILDREN IN THE REAR FACING CHILD SEATS! Those seats should be outlawed & people that put children in them should be Jailed. IT is Common Knowledge that The only car that is Proven that can Take a Real Hit a MERCEDES BENZE.

Model S cars fitted with a jump seat in the rear have an additional pair of supports to protect against rear-end collisions.

Would an extra reinforcement bar (or 2) have saved hypothetical kids sitting in the RFS in this crash?

Probably not. The real problem is the truck bumper is higher than normal car bumpers.

Only if they were in a Bolt.

Ijmijonjak stu catso Etc:

BOB Is Right !

Despite all the hyperbole in above comments, I’m not at all sure that kids sitting in hypothetical jump seats would have received serious injuries.

I think there has been a misinterpretation of what we’re seeing in the photo. That thing which looks like a bumper sticking far out of the back of the Model S… is definitely not a Model S bumper! Look at the photo of the truck. That thing sticking out is likely a piece of the truck which got torn off as it rode up over the back of the Model S.

Look again at the photo of the wrecked Model S. The back end isn’t really crushed in that far, now is it? Compare with a rear view of an undamaged Model S:

Looks like the truck was sitting on top of the Model S floor pan where the boot used to be. The edge of the tailgate probably ended up pretty much touching where the jump seats would be if fitted. The truck front axle was force back by the tesla floor pan. The tesla tailgate was pushed up and over the roof almost intact and the rear bumper stayed where it was fixed on the floorpan.

PS: I would be interesting to see how the other side of the car looked like after the crash. I would imagine that the rear suspension is not where it used to be anymore and that’s what took the brunt of the force. The left hand side rear corner stayed almost intact in comparison.

You can tell that the rear of the car was not designed to be impacted by a semi as the crash structures were missed with exception of the front axle of the semi. That being said the force of the crash must have been huge compared to a crash with another car or a van where the crumple zone would have also had a chance to work as designed.

Still it ended up well for everybody so happy days.

another stressful day, huh?

I dunno…that front wheel looks like it got knocked out of whack….and if that entire front structure is out of alignment, it probably tweaked the frame…at that point, the truck would be totaled. It would cost more to take the whole thing apart, straighten, and put back together than it would be to just buy comparable used truck.

FWIW…Semi tractors are pretty cheap…it’s the trailers that get ya!

According to the op, who posted the pics, they were both a total loss. Both vehicles.

Like he would know!

That’s so ridiculous.

Really? So that is where the front axle is put on Volvo trucks? Must be a California thing. The ones I have seen in Oregon, Washington and other parts of the country have them closer to the front.

Trust me, the guy that was there, the truck was totaled. The whole front end was knocked out, and the oil pan and bottom end of the engine were knocked out completely.

Except their is no car named Mercedes BenzE because its spelled Benz you troll for MB!

Ho much money are you losing on your MB investment as Tesla eats their lunch on S class sales???

Ijmijonjak stu catso Etc:

LOST NO MONEY Cuz They are Built To Last! …They are the “MASTER PREMIER” Car Builders. They Build The Best! Tesla Folds Like A Cheap Tent & got their Ratings LOWERED!!!!

There’s my argument against home schooling.

Ijmijonjak stu catso Etc:

Home schooling beats being raised Ignorant.

People just have no idea how safe cars are. Getting in a rear end accident and not being hurt isn’t at all strange.

Ironically, SUV’s tendency to roll over sold a lot of people on their safety. They would roll the thing over in a fashion where a car would never do so, then when they emerged unscathed they were convinced SUVs were very safe. They also were very wrong about that.

And for that matter I’d love to see a comparison done about the accidents caused by thick A pillars compared to the lives saved by those thick A pillars in rollover accidents. I can’t imagine we’re coming out ahead on these roof crush standards.

Pumping up this kind of armchair analysis is not only useless it can also be detrimental. Would it be possible to not overemphasize this kind of anecdotal “safety” stuff on insideevs?

It’s true cars are much safer, except some of the safety equipment, defective airbags, defective ignition switches, etc… have caused deaths and injuries too.

Documented anecdotal evidence, seems like a contradiction in terminology, there. I would say it’s more than anecdotal when it is documented, but then again some still believe global warming is a hoax, and no amount of evidence will convince them otherwise. But if you wish to alter the meaning of words then by all means feel free.

I would prefer if they continue publishing these sorts of documented stories, which show real life evidence.
Definition: Anecdotal Evidence.
is based on hearsay rather than hard facts.

The Tesla battery pack can be salvaged for home solar.

I would like the driver of the Tesla to explain the long gash down the left side of his car that clearly was not caused by the truck.

You mean the reflection seen in the finish? Any “long gash” exists only in your imagination.

Benefits of driving Tesla’s over other rear-ended cars aside, the one thing that this very well-pulicised incident *does* demonstrate, is why it is so important, if you come to an abrupt halt on a freeway or other ‘fast’ road, to look at what is going on in your rear-view mirror – at least untill you can see you have one or 2 vehicles stationary behind you. And whilst I’m at it, it is equally important that when you stop, you leave enough gap in front so you can get out the way should your rear-view mirror suddenly fill with a speeding semi clearly intent on ruining your day!