TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Looking for rear facing seat (jump seats) crash test safety data

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Sean Mitchell, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Sean Mitchell

    Sean Mitchell New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I'm doing some research on the safety of the rear facing jump seats that Tesla offers in their Model S and came across your work - well done. Surprisingly, I'm having a very, very difficult time finding any supporting data on the safety of the rear facing seat (jump seats). It doesn't appear that Tesla nor any government car safety organizations have published any regarding the safety of the seats. Elon Musk says they are the safest seats in the car for front and side impact, and they have added a double octagonal crash structure in the rear (). Though I love Elon and my Model S, I'm looking for a bit more reassurance from a data perspective.

    After two recent rear-ended accidents (We Talked To The Tesla Model S Driver Rear-Ended By A 40-Ton Semi and Rare fatal accident in a Tesla Model S rear-ended by a large SUV in California), I'm having my doubts. It appears that if the colliding vehicle sits higher than the Model S, it's reinforced bumper does not aid against the ingress of the hatchback.

    Any concrete data, research, or commentary from a professional in the industry would be most appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Messages:
    537
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm also interested, since I put my kids back there from time to time. In those cases I always try to be very aware of cars coming behind me which means I do things like leave extra space in front of me when stopped so I can move out of the way if I think somebody isn't going to stop.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Sean Mitchell

    Sean Mitchell New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    That's smart to try to minimize the potential. What if you're at a stoplight (or completely stopped in general) and there is a car in front of you preventing you from accelerating? This seems like a typical scenario for a rear end accident.
     
  4. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    6,025
    Location:
    NoVa
    Yeah, same here.

    At first I bought the kool aid, now I'm not sure they're the "safest part in the car". My kids don't like them too much, so we don't use them often, but when we do, I try to be extra careful.
     
  5. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I avoid using them if other seats are available and I don't let my kids back there in slippery conditions.

    I have no data though....good topic
     
  6. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,225
    Location:
    NJ
    As far as I am aware no-one tests 3rd row seat safety. It is also a very difficult topic requiring both a significant amount of testing, analysis and statistical data. It is a mistake to look at a few crashes and draw conclusions on the safety of the seats.

    Some of the good things about the seats:
    • They are rear facing. This means the entire body is supported during the majority of crashes.
    • They are farther inboard than the rest of the seats, therefore they are better protected from side crashes.
    • They have 5 point harnesses, which will better restrain the occupants during crashes.
    • Crashes involving being rear-ended tend to be lower speed deltas than forward crashes. You will never have an extreme speed delta like what might occur in a head on collision hitting in the rear.
    • The heads and torsos of the children are much farther from the back of the car than in many other vehicles with a 3rd row. This will reduce the risk of a fatality.
    Some bad things about the seats:
    • The legs are fairly close to the back of the vehicle
    • Large trucks, particularly if they have an aftermarket lift, may go over the bumper.

    Personally I think that the 3rd row in a Tesla is safer than just about every other car with a 3rd row. If you look at those linked crashes, anyone in the third row of a minivan or an SUV (maybe with the exception of a suburban) would have been killed as well.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Messages:
    537
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    You can't avoid it, however by leaving several car lengths of space in front of you it will allow you to release the brake so your vehicle doesn't have to take all of the impact (it would hit the car in front). Or you may be able to get into the shoulder or even oncoming traffic.

    Yeah, I like that. On the other hand I feel I can avoid front-impact collisions easier than somebody rear-ending me.
     

Share This Page