Rivian R1T Crash Test Raises Safety Concerns Rivian R1T Crash Test Raises Safety Concerns

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By Ronald Tech

At the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, a crash test was conducted to assess the effectiveness of guardrails against heavier electric vehicles. The findings have raised serious safety concerns.

In October, the facility tested a model year 2022 Rivian R1T truck in a crash scenario, and the results were disconcerting. The truck plowed through a guardrail system, which featured a 12-gauge corrugated steel guardrail attached to 6-inch deep steel posts, at a speed of 60 mph.

In comparison, the same test with a lighter model year 2018 Tesla Model 3 saw the vehicle lifting the guardrail and passing below it, eventually coming to a stop behind the barrier.

The implications of these test results are vital. There are growing concerns about the ability of existing guardrails to prevent accidents involving the increasingly prevalent heavy electric vehicles on the roads. Electric vehicles, on average, weigh 20-50% more than traditional combustion engine vehicles.

Assistant director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, Cody Stolle, emphasized, “As the percentage of EVs on the road increases, the proportion of run-off-road crashes involving EVs will increase, as well.”

Following these alarming results, transportation officials, defense experts, and researchers from the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility will join forces to determine the necessary measures to accommodate the escalating number of electric vehicles in America’s automotive landscape, the university stated.

The university stressed the urgency of addressing this issue, pointing out that thousands of fatalities occur annually due to 100,000 run-off-road crashes involving roadside barriers.

Photo via Shutterstock

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