Even an electric car can be too much car for teens to handle.
The Tesla Model S may be environmentally friendly, but it should not be mistaken for a tame Toyota Prius. It seems like parents keep making this mistake and hand the keys of their Model S Teslas to their teenage kids (when the kids aren’t busy starting Tesla-based businesses or playing the stock market to buy the cars themselves), and the results are never kosher. With the lowest trim Model S able to hit 60 mph from standstill in 5.2-seconds, it’s easy to see how kids can get in trouble.
Most return the car undamaged after a few rounds of fun, but in other cases, things take a turn for the worst. That’s exactly what has happened in Germany when an 18-year old female driver took her dad’s Model S for a spin with all of her friends and lost control while going way too fast. She went off the road and the car flew through the air for about 80 feet before flipping over and coming to a stop back on its wheels. The crash totaled the Tesla, but the girl and her four friends all survived the harrowing accident and were able to climb out of the wreckage themselves. Their injuries were not life threatening although some of the teens were flown by helicopter to a hospital in nearby Munich.
Model S safety features include the huge crumple zone on the front of the car that is enabled by the fact that there is no engine up front. It looks like all of the airbags, side, front, and passenger, were deployed after the front end was nearly ripped off by the accident. In Germany, the driving age is 18, so that means that the teenage girl was probably handling more car than her skill level allowed. Elon Musk has previously used a swimming pool analogy to describe the importance of the front crumple zone on the Model S. He has said, "it’s just like jumping into a pool from a high diving board — you want a deep pool and one without rocks in it.” Luckily these kids had plenty cushioning the fall. Photos by Merkur.