Modern cars feel so substantial and safe they can often feel impregnable--you're just rolling along in your little bubble, protected from the world outside.
The Model S, the luxurious electric car from Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] with its large body, incredible refinement and luxurious interior is just such a vehicle--though as the video above (via Wired) demonstrates, there's only so much extreme force a car can handle.
No car is completely crash-proof, and it can take the work of a split-second out on the road for something to go very, very wrong.
If it does, modern cars really are as safe as they feel, with airbags, deforming crash structures and more, keeping occupants as safe as possible.
But put enough force through a car body and occupants can still become trapped, or incapacitated to such an extent that safety teams need extraction tools like the "jaws of life" to provide better access for ambulance crews.
In an electric car, there's an element of added danger for those crews, with high voltage cables and different body structures to contend with.
It might be excruciating to watch the Model S torn apart, bit by bit, but reassuring to know that if the worst happens, the emergency services still have a way of extracting you from the car.
In the video above, the real action starts around the 27-minute mark, as safety crews rip the front passenger door from its frame. They then remove the front wing and hood, before making cuts into the A-pillar, chassis support struts and finally, the door surround--careful to avoid the electric components nearby.
All this accomplished, some dashboard support struts are cut, before a hydraulic ram pushes the dashboard upward. The resulting gap could be enough to free an injured passenger's legs following a crash--or to give paramedics a larger space to extract a passenger with back or neck injuries.
Tesla itself provided the Model S for Fremont Fire Department to train on--and the resulting video can be used to train other crews to deal with the car.
The rest of the video goes through all the realities and myths faced by first responders to electric vehicle accidents--and it's worth a watch to fully reassure you of the safety of these vehicles.