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The IIHS has performed many crash tests over the years in hopes of reducing crashes and deaths on roads. Sometimes a test is worth showcasing, which is why they publish some of their evaluations in video form. One such clip was of a Tesla Model Y, which performed better than expected. What test did it impress with, and what did the IIHS and commenters on the video think about it? 

A 2022 Tesla Model Y used its bright blue paint to contrast with the sand in the bright desert.
Model Y | Tesla

The response from the Tesla Model Y crash test video

Car and Driver compiled the top five most-watched IIHS safety crash test videos for 2022. While there were some interesting models on the list, like the 2021 Ford Bronco and the 2013 Chevrolet Spark, the number one rated clip, watched by the most people, is the 2021 Tesla Model Y

With over 288,000 views currently, this video shows how well the Tesla handles the driver’s side small overlap crash test. In this clip, the IIHS evaluates the vehicle’s ability to deal with a collision at the front left corner of the vehicle. 

The reason for the test is to see how well the driver is protected due to the strain of moving forward and side-to-side motions placed on the person strapped in. This could put a lot of strain on the belts and airbags, according to the IIHS website. The Tesla Model Y gets pretty banged up, but you see the test dummy in the video stay relatively stable in the vehicle. 

What the commenters had to say about the crash test video

The comments on the YouTube video show that collectively people were happy with the results of the crash test. Some had commented that it was amazing to see the car lose its front wheel and just keep on going as if nothing had happened. One person was impressed because they thought it would help prevent internal damage from deceleration. 

Others were shocked to see that the airbags from the front and sides deployed and held up so well. The crash test dummy in the driver’s seat didn’t move around much at all, as it had in other test videos. Even the windows and windshield held up more than most vehicles. The glass may have had some damage, but it still remained relatively intact after the collision. 

One commenter was just happy the bumper didn’t fall on its own, which we all know happens with some vehicles. Most of the comments seemed to revolve around the initial hit when the Tesla Model Y bounced off the barrier. They were impressed that the EV just nicked the barrier wall like it was nothing and the car kept moving. 

What did the IIHS have to say about the Tesla Model Y’s performance in this test?

The IIHS was equally impressed with the performance of the Tesla Model Y in the driver’s side small overlap crash test. The site was also impressed with the other crash evaluations as well. So much so that the site reported the Tesla model qualified for the Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest honor a vehicle can earn. 

When it came to the specific driver’s side small overlap crash test that we see in the video, the IIHS gave it a rating of “Good”, which is what it got for the other five evaluations the site put it through. The IIHS analysts note that the test dummy in the driver’s seat stayed relatively in the same spot before the collision, which means there was a good chance of survival. 

On the crash avoidance and mitigation areas, the Tesla Model Y received a Good rating for the standard headlights and superior ratings for both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention tests. Even another safety testing organization, the NHTSA, was impressed by how well it performed in the tests it put forth.

Out of all the safety crash test videos put out by the IIHS, the number one viewed clip is the Tesla Model Y, which performed better than some expected. Even those watching the video were impressed with how well the Tesla handled the situation and kept going despite losing its front wheel. 


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