And it’s not just America. According to recent information from Tesla, its electric cars – Model 3, Model S and Model X – are three of the safest cars in the world. How did this upstart startup that’s not even two decades old beat century-old automakers to the passenger safety finish line?
First of all, let’s see how they came about this accolade:
Model 3 has the lowest overall probability of injury for any car ever tested by @nhtsagov. Model S is #2. Model X is #3. There is no safer car in the world than a Tesla
— Tesla (@Tesla) October 8, 2018
According to Tesla, the NHTSA says that the Model 3 has the “lowest overall probability of injury for any car ever tested.” In absolute terms, the chances of being injured while driving a Model 3 are less than 6%. To go even more granular (and to relate to gamblers), that equates to odds of less than 15.67 to 1. If you want to be even more anal, that means one injury for every 16.67 accidents.
Before the Model 3, the Model S was the safest car in the world, but that position has now been usurped by the lower-cost EV from Tesla.
Ever the skeptics, we dug a bit further into this claim to see whether the tests were done according to real-life situations. The process followed in these crash tests is called CIREN, or Crash Injury Research. Truly no idea why they added the N at the end. Maybe just to make it sound really cool – CIREN, Siren, Ambulance…get it?
Now, CIREN not only involves engineering analysis, but also medical analysis to evaluate injury causation and other factors. The process itself is based on studies dating back as far as 1985, or 23 years ago. That’s as holistic a program as you’ll find anywhere, and it satisfied our curiosity.
Next, we looked at some of the other cars tested alongside Tesla’s three electric car models. The data on which these new results were based took into consideration at least 50 different cars over a seven-year period between 2011 and now. That seemed to be above board as well.
So, what we have is a thorough testing process and a fairly large sample size. That means the findings are incontrovertible. Tesla is officially the safest car brand in the world.
What cars did the 2018 Tesla Model 3 beat out to get the number one safety and injury probability spot?
Let’s take a look some of the other top brands that were tested by the NHTSA since 2011:
2012 Volvo S60 4 DR AWD – Consistent 5-star rating across all tests, but only one recommended safety technology is standard – Electronic Stability Control
2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class with rear seat SAB 4 DR RWD – 4-star rating for frontal crash and rollover. Rearview video system and forward collision warning standard.
2011 BMW 535 I Xdrive GT 4 DR 4WD – 4 stars for frontal crash; electronic stability control is standard.
2018 Audi A4 4 DR AWD – 4 stars for frontal crash; forward collision warning is standard
2012 Toyota Camry HV 4 DR FWD – 4 stars for frontal crash and rollover; electronic stability control is standard.
As you can see, all the other safest vehicles had several disadvantages. Either their test ratings were down because of one element, or they lacked several recommended safety technologies in the base model. As for the Model 3, this is how it fared:
Thanks to Autopilot, the Model 3 not only received 5-star ratings across the board, but it has four critical recommended safety technologies as outlined by the NHTSA: forward collision and lane departure warning, crash imminent braking and dynamic brake support. In addition, it has the following safety features:
Seat Belts and Head Restraints