Tesla Model X Struck By GMC Yukon – All 6 Tesla Occupants Unharmed



Image Credit: Jonathon Braman

Minnesota surgeon, Jonathan Braman, was driving his Tesla Model X with five other family members and their dog. Seemingly out of nowhere, a GMC Yukon driver ran a red light and hit them. Fortunately, everyone was just fine.

Tweet Response To Braman's Original Tweet To Elon Musk

Tweet Response To Braman’s Original Tweet To Elon Musk

The enormous Yukon SUV was traveling at 45 mph and the driver was obviously distracted. He took off much of the front end of the Model X. The Tesla’s substantial system of airbags, including leg airbags, wrapped a protective cushion around the family and kept them all safe.

The vehicle crumpled where it was supposed to and maintained passenger clearance at the impact points. Since the vehicle doesn’t have an engine, there is more adequate space for crumple zones. Only Braman’s father, who was sitting up front nearest the impact point, had to make a quick visit to the hospital. He was released without issue.

Braman, being an orthopedic surgeon by trade, knows all too well what can happen as a result of these crashes. He is very thankful that he chose a vehicle that would protect his family. He Tweeted a thank you message to Elon Musk. Musk has touted that the Model X may be the safest vehicle ever built.

Braman also pointed out that the type of crash would usually roll an SUV like the Model X, or spin it in circles. Due to the weight of the battery, added to the fact that it is distributed evenly beneath the vehicle, this is less likely in a Tesla.

Tesla has failed to make the vehicle rollover in its testing and the company believes that when tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it will be the first SUV to achieve 5-star ratings in all safety categories.

Source: Gas2

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

138 Comments on "Tesla Model X Struck By GMC Yukon – All 6 Tesla Occupants Unharmed"

newest oldest most voted

And the doors still work! 😉

Get Real

Isn’t this where sven or some other shorter/hater chimes in to whine about the FWDs?


Ask and you shall receive.

The driver’s side falcon-wing door failed to completely open after the crash. 🙁 After almost a year on the market, Tesla still hasn’t figured out how go get the FWDs to work reliably/properly. I believe the door not fully opening is referred to by Model X owners as “false obstacle detection.” There is obviously no obstacle above the Model X after the crash, yet the passenger FWD refused to completely open.

Some Model X owners have reported feeling embarrassed when they attempt to show people how the FWDs open/close and the FWDs malfunction and fail to fully open/close or fail to open/close at all. Even worse, some Model X owners report that their misaligned FWDs are scratching and scuffing other parts when they open and close.




Oh, I forgot to mention that sometimes the FWDs sometimes fail to detect an obstruction and CRUNCH, smash into the obstruction while opening.




I love Tesla …What a Car ! ~ Anyway you cut it… & It was designed by a Rocket Scientist, Yea ! A real Rocket Guy & I love Rockets Too…This is Usually A joke ., but this one is for real!!!! Cheers… All The Best & God Speed Elon !! You are The best !God bless you & Keep You Well for all of us & all of yours, that love you too !… We all Need you & Love You very so much for “What You Are About”…


jijimijon:very stupid,cynical remark….at a closely fatal accident,new technology.Ps. Yukons should be banned,or rightly taxed,as killer machines!


You call out “stupid cynical remark”, then say “Yukons should be banned”.


It was in a car accident – that is the least of anyone’s concerns…sheesh.

Jacked Beanstalk

LOL, those FWD doors are one of the dumbest ideas to be put into production by any automaker in a long time. Even if they worked flawlessly they would be a solution in search of a problem.

I mean, even if they permit easy rear passenger egress in tight spaces, how the hell does a front seat occupant exit the car? And why would anyone park a $100,000+ car in such a tight spot? Even if the Tesla doesn’t hit the cars next to it, the cars next to it will hit the Tesla, and the owners will be pissed at the Tesla for blocking them from easily opening their doors so they will retaliate in some way.

It seems that there is no one at Tesla who can tell Musk when he has a bad idea.


“It seems that there is no one at Tesla who can tell Musk when he has a bad idea.”

True. He brings BEV-only to the global auto space, like no other. It makes up for the other baggage, IMO.


All parking spots are cramped these days. Cars keep getting bigger, but the spaces keep getting smaller.

For the front row, they would have to do what you do now – either suck in your gut, or let the front passenger out before you back in, leaving a little more room on the driver side.

Jim Whitehead

Sven, why do you pretend its a defect that a Tesla door failed to fully open after a crash?

So what car model do you drive, whose doors are all guaranteed to open after every crash?

. Time’s up! Stumped?

Whatever ICE car you drive, I know your ICE car never got 5 stars on every US subcategory of crash testing. How do I know? Read here: http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-gets-5-star-safety-rating-from-nhtsa-wvideos/

So in a bad crash, what car would you rather be riding in? I would take a beat up Model S any day over any new tin can from Detroit.


Fortunately, the Yukon hit the front end of the Tesla. We wouldn’t have such a happy ending if it had hit the doors.


Or Rear end it from behind at 60mph…


YEA… BLa BLa BLa BLAAAAAA!….I’d Rather Be in the TESLA


But when is someone going to solve the problem of protecting the driver from the airbag in the back seat when we’re driving our mother-in-law around?!


I wonder if most Uber drivers were thinking the same thing while driving you around. 😉


I bet your friends, family, and co-workers always wear them whenever you’re around. 😉

Wonder if it is totalled? I’d also like to see a photo of the Yukon.


not only is it a Yukon, it is a yukon XL… that is the mother of all SUV’s.



If that is the result of the crash, then I seriously doubt the 45mph claim…

The Yukon looks like it barely got a scratch…


“If”? Of course!!! The level of body damage alone would be enough to total the vehicle, never mind the fact that a substantial portion of the front is missing, frame and all.

In addition, the windshield is cracked too. $$$


Looking at other pix the Yukon looks hardly damaged while the Tesla is scrap.
I’d rather be in the Yukon


Is it ethical to say “dumbass”?

What a dumbass remark by someone who hasn’t seen the accident report, hasn’t heard exactly where each vehicle was in the intersection and how fast and what angle and what response time and result each driver had before impact…

Go buy yourself a Yukon Jack. Go right ahead. That’ll free up the line a bit for smart folks who are waiting for their EV SUV that protects it’s occupants admirably from freight train-like body-on-frame tanks driven by innattentive drivers – while not using a drop of fossil fuel.


LOL take a look at the Yukon. http://gas2.org/2016/08/22/tesla-model-x-saves-family-runaway-gmc-yukon/
You can see it was a little impact, but the Tesla breaks in pieces, it just looks dramatically! Nobody’s gonna eat the safest vehicle BS


Those of us who have a basic understanding of the attributes of Designing crashworthiness into a vehicle will believe that the Tesla is safe. Understand that the vehicle is designed to sacrifice itself to maintain passenger compartment integrity, so damage to the vehicle can be expected as it is designed to crumple in certain ways to reduce impact Force to the occupants. But I would think you would already know that.

The logic of trying to assess which vehicle is safest based on images of one particular crash is flawed.


the 500lb v8 engine will likely not crumple in the Yukon, it is however much more likely to break into the passengers’ areas than the crumple zone of the model x. destroying the front end of the model x does not mean that it is less safe. it is the passengers’ areas that protect them.


“the 500lb v8 engine will likely not crumple in the Yukon, it is however much more likely to break into the passengers’ areas than the crumple zone of the model x. destroying the front end of the model x does not mean that it is less safe. it is the passengers’ areas that protect them.”

No. Modern ICE cars are designed that in the event of the crash, the engine along with transmission will drop due to break away engine mount and it will slide under the cabin rather than thru the cabin.


Well, kind of. In practice there simply isn’t room for it under the body. But where they used to come at you chest-height, they are now much more likely to crush your feet and consigning you to a wheelchair for life. But you have a much better chance of living.


Yeah, you are really missing the point of crash protection. In a high-speed collision, the vehicle is supposed to break apart thereby diffusing the energy of the collision to protect the passengers.


Actually, you-don’t-know-Jack, it is because of the disintegration of specific areas, and not others, that makes it the safest car! That’s the whole point of crumple zones – absorbing energy of impact so that you, the passenger, experiences fewer g-forces.

The article pointed out that the passenger cabin maintained integrity, as well. Have you seen pictures of accidents like these when the car was just a regular car?!? The SUVs destroy the cars, and people are left seriously injured or dead! The Model X performed exactly as designed, and everybody walks away.


Jack said:

“You can see it was a little impact, but the Tesla breaks in pieces, it just looks dramatically! Nobody’s gonna eat the safest vehicle BS”

Your ability to reason from cause to effect is rather lacking.

The Model S crumpled on impact as it was supposed to, absorbing the energy of the crash. The Yukon did not crumple as it should have, thus transmitting the energy of the crash to the occupants.

If the occupants of the Yukon are okay, it’s only because the Tesla Model S absorbed most of the energy of the crash.

But yeah, you go ahead and get a Yukon. The rest of us will “Think of it as evolution in action”.


Model X, you keep saying Model S…

Yukon is a cousin of Tahoe.

In the last episode of Model S vs. Tahoe, Tahoe destroyed Model S…


Yeah, Model X. Thank you for the correction.


and the Yukon XL in this case is a cousin of the Chevy Suburban


Yukon’s damage is significant. The wheel is bent, pushed back and probably suffered some frame damage


Tesla Breaks up…so you don’t have to…


It’s different to say a “Tesla is safe” and “A Tesla totals easily”. I believe both are true.


Race car Inspired Breakaway technology & crumble zone are designed as such to “LESSEN” the “IMPACT” on the OCCUPANTS…Those are “SAFETY FEATURES”… Because Cars & car Parts Are EASIER to Replace than people..


The oil companies also want you to be in the Yukon…

Get Real

Isn’t it amazing how these new usernames just pop up in these Tesla threads to virtually just echo the same anti-Tesla FUD that the handful of anti-Tesla losers who post here constantly post?

So Jack, what do you drive???

This too is for our buddy Jack here who seems to seek every opportunity to slam Tesla. Jack’s off the cuff remark only reinforces the fact that he’s never read NHTSA or IIHS or SAE information about crush zones and safety engineering. Ever see an Indy car or F1 race car hit a wall and other cars doing 200mph? Lots of us have. They literally disintegrate before your very eyes. Minutes later, the unscathed driver unstraps himself and walks away with a headache! Why? The car is DESIGNED to disintegrate in a highly engineered fashion to protect the valuable cargo ( humans ) inside at all costs. I’d rather have a vehicle that sacrificed it’s all to absorb in a very linear way all the impact forces to protect myself and loved ones from taking that force. In this – a well-engineered, and safe car uses these impact forces and spreads them in a fashion to protect the passenger cell. There isn’t any aesthetic concern here. It’s how the driver and passengers fare after the fact. One reason Teslas rate as the safest cars NHTSA and the IIHS ever crash test is the fact that no support structures had to… Read more »

+1 Exactly what James (above) said.

All that kinetic energy has to go somewhere, and I’d rather it go to the appropriate places than into the passengers.

But I’m also guessing that viewers like Jack would also perfer to be in a “big american steel” like a 1959 BelAir vs a 2009 Malibu (look it up if you don’t understand the reference)


Weight. It’s what older cars and modern trucks and truck-based SUVs have. Big heavy steel missiles aimed at you, your wife and children.
No wonder so many want the car to drive them, and not be responsible themselves for the safety of others.

Lots of people skip buying the Chevy Spark or Smart car because they realize they’d be dead if hit by a huge pig SUV or truck. It’s why automakers are forced to spend billions of $s engineering crush zones and air bags into their cars. Think of the gas wasted each day because cars have to carry around all those extra pounds of safety equipment to protect you from Jack in his Tahoe*.

And semis, dump trucks… Roseanne Barr jaywalking…etc. 🙂

But seriously – think of the energy wasted because we have to prepare to be hit by four ton steel projectiles called truck-based SUVs.


Even if Tahoe like SUVs don’t exist, there are other vehicles such as commercial vans, trucks and buses that are equally if not more dangerous than SUVs..

Didn’t one of the Tesla Model S owner died because of collision with a dump truck?


of course i prefer a Yukon to a “SUV” designed for soccer moms. LOL and since when is the tesla rated as the safest car ever by NHTSA and the IIHS??


No. Read again: The company says it received 5 stars in every possible category (something that’s awarded to just 1% of cars)
And just 1% of cars are actually in that price range, so nothing special

Joshua Burstyn

Actually the Model was beyond the test’s roof strength parameters (as one example) that it broke the testing machine. Likewise I believe parts of the offset test system were removed by the Model S during testing. The S is definitively safer than every vehicle tested at the time.


The roof strength test is based on the vehicle weight.

The heavier the car is, the higher the roof strength has to be. But the rating is based on ratio of factors. So, if you weigh 3,000lbs, then you only need about 3x to get a Good rating.

Tesla Model S weighs around 4,800lbs which required a strength of 14,400lbs to exceed 3x which is beyond the stress test machine’s parameter.

There is a proof that government working engineers are “idiots” since they obviously didn’t do the quick math to find out if the hydraulic machine is rated for that much force or not, thus the breaking of the machine news.

But since they also botched the testings and handling of the Volt battery packs, I am NOT surprised. The rumor of government incompetency just gets reconfirmed each and every year…


ModernMarvelFan said:

“The heavier the car is, the higher the roof strength has to be.”

Perhaps you’re talking about required rollover protection? Because it makes no sense at all to claim that a heavier car needs a stronger roof. Stronger frame/unibody, yes.

And obviously your rule of thumb completely fails with convertibles.


““The heavier the car is, the higher the roof strength has to be.”

Perhaps you’re talking about required rollover protection? Because it makes no sense at all to claim that a heavier car needs a stronger roof. Stronger frame/unibody, yes.

And obviously your rule of thumb completely fails with convertibles.”

It isn’t my rule of thumb or yours…

It is what the roof strength test is designed to be. It is weight to roof strength ratio which is designed to see how strong roof is during a roll over incidences. The stronger the ratio, the less likely the car roof will cave in during a roll over event.

Convertible aren’t subject to that test. However, many of them come with roll bars to protect the occupants and their windshield frames have to be especially strong.


Thanks to the likes of you, yes. >:P


All stars aren’t equal. Every 5 star rated car didn’t all get 5 stars because they tested exactly equally in every category. The Model S not only got a 5 star rating, they beat every other 5 star rated car in the vast majority of the test criteria.

If there were a 6 star category, the Model S would have gotten 6 stars. But there isn’t. 5 stars is as high as it goes, so even though the Model S got superior scores than the rest of the 5-star rated cars, it still only got the same 5 stars.


“All stars aren’t equal. Every 5 star rated car didn’t all get 5 stars because they tested exactly equally in every category. ”

That is what Tesla claimed.

But if I remember correctly that NHTSA came out and corrected that claim by saying that star system is to show the likelyhood for injuries and there are no difference in 5 stars given.


No other car broke the roof crush testing machine.

And no matter how you spin it, or try to say it doesn’t matter, you can’t refute that rather impressive fact about the Tesla Model S’s safety.


It’s probably a liability issue for reporting purposes.

Their internal scoring is more specific. The instigator of that scrap was Tesla posting a “5.4” safety score. Any vehicle with at least 5.0 gets the “five star” safety rating. Supposedly, that 5.4 overall composite score was the highest ever tested.


“safest cars NHTSA and the IIHS ever crash test” – you are creating some fanboy urban legends with this. IIHS never even tested Tesla as Tesla refused to submit cars for testing. It was rumored that Tesla refused to test pre-autopilot year models because they didn’t have autobraking feature and it was obvious that it would make them to fail in some IIHS categories. Now that they finally got some autobraking, I don’t know why they still avoid IIHS tests.

Anyway, if you look at IIHS driver death statistics, you will see that it improved a lot over the years comparing to average 11 year old economy clunker on the road that Musk likes to use as benchmark, and it doesn’t look good for Tesla safety legend. Many 2011 model year (latest available) SUVs and cars have 0 driver deaths so far, while newer Model S already has several, pushing it into average economy car range.


The Yukon does seem to be very lightly damaged when compared with the x. Doesn’t seem to have been a high speed collision.


It is said that a Ford Model T typically shows surprisingly little damage after a collision, because it uses heavier gauge sheet metal in its body than modern cars.

But does that make the Model T safer? Hell no! The very fact that it is so rigid means it transmits a lot more of the energy of a collision to fragile human occupants. In case of an accident, you do not want to be in a Model T.

Judging the safety of a car by a noticeable lack of crumpling in an accident is perhaps understandable, but it often leads to a wrong conclusion.

Four Electrics

In many other cars, this would have resulted in a fatality. Kudos Tesla.

It is unfortunate that the world we live in is an arms race, whereby one must drive a very heavy car just to get some measure of protection from even bigger, heavier cars.


What the heck are you smoking? The Tesla got sideswiped in the front. If the x was a hair faster, it would have been t-boned and would have likely caused major injuries or death.


Maybe, maybe not. The Model X does have side impact protection bars and you can see the side-impact airbags that went off. There probably would be some injuries but I don’t know about deaths.

no comment

most of the readers of this article (and i suspect the writer) seemed to miss this point. my theory is that the yukon hit the front end of the tesla on the driver’s side and the tesla spun away from the impact. so i am not surprised that the yukon incurred less damage. all the talk of “crumple zones” suggests to me a head-on collision, which this clearly was not.

even though this doesn’t look like the kind of accident in which i would expect to see fatalities, i would have been plenty scared if i had been in the tesla. first of all, there is the fright of seeing a big monster suv about to hit you. after impact, i would imagine that the tesla was spinning around a few times. it looks to me that the main thing that prevented injuries to the passengers was the air bags.


Crumple zones protect in pretty much every case except a T-bone side collision. If you think crumple zones protect only in cases of direct head-on or tail-on collisions, then you need to watch some crash test videos.


“Crumple zones protect in pretty much every case except a T-bone side collision”

Did the crumple zone protect the Model S in the severe rear end collision against a speeding Tahoe?


Of course it did. It just didn’t protect it enough to save the lives of all the passengers. It very likely did save the lives of some of them.

As I’ve said before, the only way you can be completely safe on the roads is to drive a tank. (And even then, if you get hit by a train, you lose.) Furthermore, despite Volvo’s “built like a tank” ads, no auto maker can afford to build cars that way. Or rather, if some auto maker did, nobody could afford to buy them.


Did Crumple Zone crumpled too much?


I think all crumple zones are designed for certain relatively low speed tests. If you crash at higher speed, energy increases by square of speed, and most automakers don’t even test for such impact – crumple zones will be just squashed before energy is fully absorbed.


That’s the problem with SUVs, as well as pickups, etc. – their frames are higher, so the bumpers pass over the bumpers of normal cars. The SUV went up and over the primary crunch zones and crushed the hatch and upper frame, which is not necessarily expected to take that amount of force.

Had the offender been in another sedan with the same speed and weight of the SUV, then there would have been a much different, and happier, ending.

Also, as zzzzzzzzzzzzz pointed out, above certain speeds, there is no happily ever after…though I do not know if the speed difference here was in that category. Since the SUV ramped up over the sedan, then it’s hard to say.


I’m pleased that the owner is happy with his Tesla. Not sure what this really says about the Model X, other than sometimes its occupants will survive crashes unharmed.

no comment

this comment gets the “best in thread” award.


Nice to see Tesla getting sales in the cold state of Minnesota.


Doesn’t seem news worth. Minor accident involving Tesla.

We got into a similar accident in our LEAF. In this case a full size Ford commercial van ran a red light and hit the LEAF as we were crossing the intersection. LEAF was totaled but airbags and construction of the car saved all four of us in the car. We all walked away with only minor injuries. Got a new LEAF out of it. The van had some structural damage, bent frame, mis-aligned door.


Agreed. This was a relatively minor accident.

The Tahoe struck the Model X in front of the front wheel, tearing off the Model X’s bumper and bumper cover. The Model X was at a 45 degree angle to the path of the oncoming Tahoe, which means that the driver’s side front corner of the Model X was protruding further into the intersection than the passenger-side front corner of the Model X. The result was that the front bumper took most of the impact and sheared away, with the hood and driver’s-side corner taking the rest of the impact, crumpling the hood and ripping off the driver’s side front quarter panel. And the plastic frunk box remained intact.

Just about any modern car would have protected its occupants just as well as the Model X. The entire side impact area was ahead of the front wheels, thus having an ICE engine would have no bearing on protecting the car’s occupants. Anything that crumpled was ahead of where the ICE sits in the engine bay.


Was the dog OK? I presume yes but perhaps injured because of no seat belt.


Question of the day:

Who is more dangerous to our modern society? Terrorists or Suburban and Tahoe drivers chatting and texting on their cellphones while driving on our public roads?


It is truly amazing that so many Americans regard terrorists as the #1 concern in their lives. The news media has done a great job of hyping that danger vastly beyond what it deserves.

Exactly how many American civilians are killed in terrorist attacks, worldwide, every year, depends on how you count them, but certainly the number averages less than 50.

Auto accidents? About 30,800 per year.

If we take 27 as the average number of American civilians killed per year since 2011 (one figure cited in the article below), then that means you’re 1140.7 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident.

Oh, and you’re more likely to be killed by lightning, too. How much time do you spend worrying about death by lightning? Rationally, you should spend less time worrying about terrorist attacks.

Despite the incessant news reports about terrorist attacks internationally.


Joshua Burstyn

Hear, hear.


Speak for yourself. While you might feel safe in your backwater town in Kansas, terrorist’s have attacked and attempted to attack NYC multiple times, as they have attacked other major cities around the globe. Not everyone got to watch 9/11 on a TV set in the comfort of their home or office, and can feel nonchalant about the threat posed by terrorism today. Some of us watched 9/11 unfold before our very eyes from the street below.

Pu-Pu said:
“The news media has done a great job of hyping that danger vastly beyond what it deserves.”

You probably thought the same thing on September 10, 2001. So the U.S. government has done a good job since 9/11 of preventing another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and that makes you think that the danger of another major attack is hyped up? Really? You actually think that terrorist organizations aren’t foaming at the mouth to figure out a way to launch another 9/11 style major attack on U.S. soil? Pushmi-Pullyu, you’re a lot dumber than I thought you were, and truth be told, I thought you were pretty dumb to begin with. 🙁


Your anecdotal experience aside, statistics are pretty clear on the matter. If you’re going to be scared of a terror attack, you probably should also stop taking a bath because that’s as likely to kill you. Even if you limit the stats to NYC, the chances are minuscule.

Who said I was scared? Your statistics don’t count any deaths that were prevented when the authorities thwarted a planned attack, do they? In 2003, the government prevented a cyanide attack in the NYC subway system. Agents moved in for arrests right after the terrorists were about to mix the necessary chemicals, which they had already acquired. Tokyo and its subway system weren’t so lucky. I commute on the subway everyday to work. There’s a good chance I might have been harmed if this terrorist plot wasn’t thwarted. But you don’t count any prevented deaths or mass casualties in your statistics. http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1205309,00.html The first terrorist truck bomb in the 1990s didn’t bring the twin towers of the World Trade Center down, but that didn’t stop the terrorists from trying again on September 11, 2001. Likewise, the arrest of the subway cyanide gas bomb plotters, didn’t stop another terror plot that planned to bomb the NYC subway at an intersection of six different train lines. Luckily that plot was thwarted also. In 2010 in Times Square, just a couple of blocks away from my workplace, a terrorist parked an SUV with a large bomb an activated it. Luckily it failed to… Read more »

It is indeed dumb. You may feel safe in some remote place, but if you need to go to work each day to some skyscraper in Manhattan that is always one of the primary attack targets, and some of them succeed, you may feel different.


sven said:

“You actually think that terrorist organizations aren’t foaming at the mouth to figure out a way to launch another 9/11 style major attack on U.S. soil?”

Thanks for proving my point, dude.


No, thank you for proving my point. Dude, you’re truly dumber than I thought you were.


I’ve spent the last 14 years in the DC area, from the aftermath of 9/11/01 to the present day, and terrorists don’t scare me.

However, you cannot underestimate the long-term psychological effects of signs over the highways, at bus stops, Metro stations, airports, all public buildings, etc., with the phrase “if you see something, say something”. It is really psychologically damaging when you are continually reminded, everywhere you go, on a daily basis, that you could die at any minute, and that you have no real control over any of it.

Is the threat real? Yes, because it’s DC. For the vast majority of US citizens, the reality of the threat is more like a sick joke.

Are you sure of that? While statistically we should be more concerned with kitchen knife safety than terrorism, statistics don’t necessarily reveal the threat level – it merely tells us something about what terrorists have achieved in the past. Their ambition goes much further. To illustrate the point, consider someone was trying to kill you. Say they have been at it for years so you have some statistics. They put a bomb under your car, but it failed to detonate at the right time and was discovered and removed without causing any harm. They tried to poison you, but the food tasted funny and you stopped eating, suffering nothing more than a minor stomach ache. Would it be rational for you to be concerned about someone still being out there plotting to kill you? Or would it be rational to look at the statistics of your own life and conclude you should rather be worried about sports injuries? The day is almost certain to arrive, sooner or later, when Messianic, apocalypse-seeking religious nutcases get their hands on apocalyptic weapons. What are the odds of either a nuke turning a major city into scorched earth, someone unleashing a biological weapon killing… Read more »
Your post, just like sven’s, merely underscores how Americans are far more afraid of terrorist attacks than they ought to be. One thing humans aren’t very good at is judging relative danger. In London they showed a far more rational reaction to the London subway attacks than we Americans did after 9/11. Instead of the entire UK freaking out, overreacting, and sending the country into a recession, as we Americans did just because three buildings in NYC were knocked down, the Londoners mainly just carried on about their business, and let the security people do their jobs. As I pointed out: You’re in more danger of being killed by lightning than by a terrorist attack. Yet somehow, Terawatt, you’re able to ignore that fact — note, actual fact — and rationalize your continuing, mostly irrational fear of terrorist attacks. * * * * * The reason that there have been relatively few terrorist attacks on American soil, as compared to say Europe, is that the FBI and the NSA are very good at detecting those. That was true even before the 9/11 attacks, and what has been done about security since then has had far more to do with merely… Read more »

This maneuver is known as “the liar’s dodge”. You didn’t answer my question and instead moved the goalposts.


To answer your question, TW, the odds are absurdly low. It is simply not realistic, and in no way should affect how you conduct your daily living.

Being struck by lightening is real, and very likely to happen. That’s why you should go indoors during a thunderstorm. It’s a real threat that requires a behavior modification.

What P-P is also referring to is how folks in smaller cities, and all the rural communities, are wide-eyed fearful of terrorist attacks, and they aren’t even on the terrorists’ radar, other than maybe some terrorists having a good laugh at watching international news from their caves and seeing these absurd interviews.

One point not mentioned yet is that stiffly-framed trucks and SUVs impart far higher deceleration loads onto their occupants, resulting in more broken legs, collarbones, noses, etc. A vehicle with crumple zones absorb impacts rather than transferring them to the soft cargo within… I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tahoe driver had neck injuries.



Excellent point!

I haven’t seen any steel channel-framed, 5,500lb. Volvo pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs driving around. I wonder why? … Volvo’s middle name is safety, they spend a great deal of their energy on developing safety related technology.

If there were far less of these behemoths on the road, we’d all be better off and much safer – for it.


“Volvo’s middle name is safety, they spend a great deal of their energy on developing safety related technology.”

and Volvo XC90 is the safest Volvo model on the road and it weighs less than both Yukon and Model X.

“If there were far less of these behemoths on the road, we’d all be better off and much safer – for it.”

Absolutely true. But keep in mind that Model X weighs about the same as this GMC Yukon/Chevy Tahoe.

Now, it is always a small advantage if you weigh more than the other car when everything else are similar. Until we can ban all heavy vehicles on the road, they will remain to be far safer relatively.

That is why IIHS data shows that heavier and larger vehicles, especially Crossover/SUVs have far lower death rate than small/compact sedan/wagons…


> they will remain to be far safer relatively

For the occupants (and I’m sure that is what you meant). For everyone else, heavier cars are of course more dangerous.

So if you have everyone driving around in very heavy vehicles instead of everyone driving around in not so heavy vehicles, with all else being equal, you’ll have more deaths and serious injuries.


They should be taxed to death by curb weight like it is in some more developed countries than US. And no “work vehicle” excuses.


We already could, under the guise that heavy vehicles cause more road damage – that would apply to EVs as well as SUVs.


“If there were far less of these behemoths on the road, we’d all be better off and much safer – for it.”

Let’s not forget that both the Model S and Models X are also considered behemoths, weight-wise. Not too long ago a portly Model S rear-ended a Toyota Corolla on a highway, completely obliterating the back end of the Corolla and killing three people in the Corolla, two of whom where children. The Model S suffered significantly less damage and its driver was able to walk away unharmed.




No, it can’t be.. if it is Tesla, it can’t have any fault whatsoever.. =)



“One point not mentioned yet is that stiffly-framed trucks and SUVs impart far higher deceleration loads onto their occupants, resulting in more broken legs, collarbones, noses, etc. A vehicle with crumple zones absorb impacts rather than transferring them to the soft cargo within…”

That is the case if you run into the wall or fixed barrier which NHTSA and IIHS data can confirm. But it seems that your claim are unfounded.

In real life crash, crumble zone does reduce impact greatly. However, so do the car you run into.

In this case, the Telsa Model X is acting as the “crumble zone” for the Yukon which transferred much of energy into the Model X.

One problem with crumble zone is the fact that it has a limit. When it crumble too far, it intrudes into the passenger cabin.

The case with Chevy Tahoe rear end into the Model S and killing kid in the 2nd row illustrate that exact point.

Actually, anyone who paid any attention in physics class will immediately know that this claim about deceleration loads is outright false. If you’re going a particular speed and coming to rest over a particular time and distance, the deceleration is the same – regardless of mass. Kinetic energy is proportional to mass and proportional to the square of the speed. So driving 20% faster increases the energy to be absorbed in a crash by the same amount as driving a 44% heavier car. Driving twice is fast increases the energy by four – and so does driving a four times as heavy car. Deceleration depends on the speed and the distance over which the car comes to a halt. In a real crash the car won’t decelerate linearly. Crumple zones are designed with multiple stages designed to each absorb more energy than the previous stage. But if the energy of the crash is greater than what the crumple zones in total are designed for, the far more rigid occupant zone will cause the vehicle to stop much more abruptly, resulting in far greater forces transferred to the occupants. At this point, the only way to continue to absorb energy would… Read more »

Also, the big problem with that crash was the known fact that SUVs, like pickups and other vehicles, have higher frames, and thus the bumpers and general energy transfer happens on a higher plane than for normal cars (sedans, compacts, etc.). That girl was killed because the SUV went up over the primary crunch zones of the rear. Had the SUV been another sedan (same weight and speed) there would have been a happier ending.


“The heavier the vehicle one crashes with, for a particular speed, the greater the energy to be absorbed, and therefore the more likely that it exceeds the maximum energy the crumple zones can absorb. Above this limit the risk of serious injury or being killed increases rapidly.”

That is true if you run into a tree or fixed barrier.

When the other car is small compact, your crumple zone just included that car along with your own.

Yes, larger cars are safer for its own occupants but deadly for other smaller cars.

But people buy cars that keep them safe first and others second, as generally how people think of “self first”.


The “seemingly out of nowhere” comment confirms what I see drivers not doing: not looking to see if incoming traffic is going to stop. Just getting a green light is meaningless. That GMC had ample chance to stop calculating the feet per second speed and the five seconds of amber, one second of red for all, plus the one/two second reaction for the Dr. To move forward into the intersection. Regardless of no injuries, I hope state laws are severe as the GMC driver’s reckless behavior. I bet he or she has been doing this for a long time. Folks, what’s the damn rush most drivers seem to have?


I’ve never understood the deliberate nature that some drivers have for running red lights – utterly idiotic.

However, with distracted driving reaching new heights, it could very well be on the rise due to recklessness rather than a conscious decision to ignore the red light.


I find the claim of 45mph highly suspect.

NHTSA’s frontal crash and IIHS’s small overlap crash are all 45mph.

And Yukon shows much higher damage than what the pictures have shown.

Granted that fix barriers are much tougher than the side of the Model X.

But the point is that it seems that Yukon sustained very little damages in this event and Model X sustained or took the major blow.

I am glad that Model X occupants are all safe and survived which is awesome. But I find some of speed claims kind of off base.

Now, if anyone can show me the evidence that Yukon’s black box data to confirm the speed, then it would be awesome. But just from the pictures alone, it shows that both vehicle protected their occupants well.


ModernMarvelFan said:

“…just from the pictures alone, it shows that both vehicle protected their occupants well.”

No, the pictures show that the Model S protected the Yukon’s passengers well, by absorbing most of the impact.


“No, the pictures show that the Model S protected the Yukon’s passengers well, by absorbing most of the impact.”

First of all, there was NO Model S in the picture.

Second of all, the fact that impact transferred and absorbed by Model X speaks loudly for both the design. Model X for absorbing it and Yukon for transferring it.

The fact that Yukon got 5 stars in NHTSA frontal crash test shows that it can absorb severe impact as needed.

Lastly, as we found out in the last Tahoe vs. Model S crash, too much “crumbling” can be an issue when the passenger cabin is crumbled beyond protection zone of occupants.


Make you a deal, MMF:

I’ll stop saying “Model S” when I mean “Model X”, and you stop saying “crumble” when you mean “crumple”. 🙂

Both of you are equally ridiculous, making bombastic claims about what the pictures show when in fact the pictures alone probably wouldn’t allow any expert to reach similar conclusions – and neither of you are such an expert. I would agree that the seeming damage to the Yukon is surprisingly small if in fact it was going at 45 mph and the Tesla was going at least 30 mph at impact. Then again the damage to the Tesla seems consistent with such speeds – to me as a layman! And I know from experience how difficult it can be to tell from superficial observation to judge the damage. My parents were once rear-ended at a traffic light in their Volvo (ironically because the driver behind them became so preoccupied with the police standing beside the intersection and checking her speedometer that she failed to pay any attention to the road ahead or the lights). I don’t recall what car hit them, but while it looked a bit like the Model S here, the Volvo at first sight looked completely undamaged. However, once it was examined they found that the rear crumple zones had been compressed and the car was now… Read more »

The speed the Yukon was traveling is actually likely UNDER reported. It is based on the driver’s statement about his speed, while traveling in a 45 mph zone.

Unless you believe people drive the speed limit, and always tell the truth to police. In which case I have a bridge to sell you….


“The speed the Yukon was traveling is actually likely UNDER reported. It is based on the driver’s statement about his speed, while traveling in a 45 mph zone.”

Yes, but you are also assuming that driver didn’t attempt to slow down at all when the collision was eminent.

“Unless you believe people drive the speed limit, and always tell the truth to police. In which case I have a bridge to sell you”

That is why I said the following

“Now, if anyone can show me the evidence that Yukon’s black box data to confirm the speed, then it would be awesome.”

I guess with your prickly tone, you don’t care about that.


I am skeptical of your claim that the collision was “eminent” – at any point in time.


Yes, the speed reported in a police accident report is generally that which the drivers themselves report.

Accident investigators can use skid marks to estimate speed, but I don’t see any skid marks here.

But in the photo posted by ArkansasVolt, it appears the Model X wasn’t spun around much by the collision, and the Yukon didn’t travel very far after the crash, so I question the collision was at high speed.


“But in the photo posted by ArkansasVolt, it appears the Model X wasn’t spun around much by the collision, and the Yukon didn’t travel very far after the crash, so I question the collision was at high speed.”

I am not sure if I agree that is sufficient evidence to determine speed.

Both vehicle are close in weight, despite size difference. Combined with the fact that lots of the energy are absorbed by the Model X which can reduce the spinning or dislocation.

Pulling data recorder is probably the best way to approach it. I don’t know what it takes to pull those data.

Does anyone know? is that something only pulled with injuries or fatality or something that any crash investigators can do….


The speed limit sign in one of the pictures was 40 for what that’s worth.

The 45 mph estimated speed of the GMC was quoted from the Tesla driver, not from the GMC driver, based on his view of the GMC running the light and clipping him during a protected left turn by the Tesla.

Glad everyone and the dog were ok in this collision involving 6 tons of vehicles, occupants and weekend gear.


“The enormous Yukon SUV”

Yukon weights: 5,308 to 5,545 lbs
Model X weights: 5,271 to 5,381 lbs


Yes, they are comparable in weight.

But the Yukon XL is much longer and larger in almost every spec measurable.

Both are “big cars” on the road. Nobody driving a compact or midsize sedan would want to get into a crash with either one.


‘Both are “big cars” on the road. Nobody driving a compact or midsize sedan would want to get into a crash with either one.’

Exactly. Both are “enormous” in terms of mass which is most important in a crash. F=MA The empty space of the large (volume) SUV means very little in this case.


Yukon XL 2016:
Curb weight: 5,486 to 5,965 lbs
Not so much difference. Both are waste of resources, road hazard and trashing of environment when manufacturing them.

Jacked Beanstalk

Excellent news. This is not a trivial accomplishment for a new auto company. Established automakers have decades of research and experience in crash safety so it’s good to see Tesla go head to head, so to speak, with GM and fight to a draw.

Ok, so the Yukon does look as if it won this bout. But even after the crash, that Tesla looks bettter than a brand new Yukon. Those things are UGLY!


Wow, falcon hood.


Is it possible that the model X detected the incoming car and braked? I’d be most interested to know that. As people have pointed out the crash was not as serious as it would have been had the impact been in the middle of the model X. I don’t know how smart the X is but when cars start automatically avoiding collisions that’s when we need to get the 6th star out.

I wondered about that too. Automatic emergency braking is far more relevant to future car safety than the weight issue. (I am still in favor of policy penalizing mass – but because it’s unnecessary and inefficient more than because it is dangerous.) As we learned in physics, kinetic energy is proportional to mass and to the SQUARE of speed. Hence a 10% speed reduction prior to impact matters as much as if there was 19% less mass moving at the same speed. Cars can absorb a certain amount of energy before they run out of crumple zones. Once that happens, increasing energy very rapidly increases risk of serious injury or death. And this “excess energy” (energy of the crash minus energy the car’s crumple zones absorb) would be reduced by MUCH more than the total energy of the crash. For example, say a crash without AEB has an energy of 100 and the cars absorb 60 before running out of crumple zone. The “excess energy” then is 40. Reducing the speed before impact by 10% reduces the energy of the crash to 81. In “excess energy” terms, the 10% speed reduction nearly halves the most relevant energy – that which… Read more »

Highly unlikely. As it was shown it can’t even detect semi in the middle of the day across the road. This is cross traffic from side that may or may not stop.
Much more likely guess would be that Yukon driver was trying to get over yellow light at speed but it turned to red, and Model X driver tried some cool acceleration as soon as light changed without checking for cross traffic – hence “out of nowhere” note.


Why guess when you can read the news stories of those that were there? The Tesla was making a protected left turn going from south to east when the GMC heading north reportedly drove through his red light and clipped the Tesla in the right front. I have not read if either vehicle was braking or if/how the wet pavement contributed to the incident.


It was just a guess from original insideevs article that doesn’t provide this information, not an attempt to investigate and read all news stories about it. It isn’t newsworthy really, just some minor crash that you can count in thousands daily.

Get Real

Isn’t it amazing how serial Tesla-haters like zzzzzzz just pull all these assumptions out of their ass in order to desperately try and slime Tesla yet again.

The fact is that Tesla makes BOTH the highest performing AND SAFEST vehicles in their classes on the roads today.


As a Tesla cult member you should complain now that I’m offending your religious feelings :/

The FACT as seen from IIHS data and published Model S driver fatality cases is that it is NOT SAFE vehicle in practice, even if it has some really good safety features like big crumple zones. For some reason Model S drivers tend to drive off cliff (2 in row) or under a semi trailer. You may jump with some religious screams and excuses why it happened but I’m not trying to discuss why. I’m just pointing to the FACT that Model S statistics are no way good when comparing with average for its price and model year.

Get Real

What anti-Tesla troll you are zzzzzzzz:



The fact is that the Model S receives 5 star safety ratings in ALL areas of Front, Side, and Rollover crashes.

The Model X is not tested yet but since it is based on the Model S platform it will undoubtedly receive the same 5 stars levels of safety ratings and will become the least likely SUV to rollover because of its architecture.

These are the facts and just because some people have died in a very high performance car (including in your examples by suicide, inattention, or being hit by a 20 ton dumptruck, and the case of the thief who wasn’t wearing his seat belt when he sideswiped a utility pole at 100mph doesn’t mean the car is not safe as no other car would have saved the drivers either.


Mister G


Will Davis

Before I even saw the article I suspected it would be another red light being ran on a highway by someone doing a high speed.

Come on, America, get more roundabouts already.

no comment

obviously you’ve never lived on the east coast because there are plenty of roundabouts scattered through the “original colonies” states. roundabouts are a *terrible* idea; they don’t work at all when there is heavy traffic – that’s why they got rid of them in the U.S.


Wow, the Yukon really bested the Tesla. Minor damage to the Yukon and major, significant damage to the Model X.

The Model X is a porker too and weighs almost as much as the Yukon.

no comment

that tends to happen when one car is a moving object and the other car is a stationary object in relation to the moving object. the yukon hit the tesla in the direction of travel of the yukon, but relative to the direction of travel of the yukon, the tesla was relatively stationary.

John Doe

Does Tesla pay for articles favorable to it? I’m certain that other EVs have saved their owners’ lives. Write about those incidents as well.