You might have noticed a few recent high-profile stories about road debris puncturing the battery packs of Tesla Model S electric cars, causing fires.

CEO and founder of Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA], Elon Musk, has remarked that despite these incidents, a similar situation would be far worse for passengers in a regular car.

The video above demonstrates exactly why this is the case.

With no battery pack and quarter-inch-thick aluminum shield under the car--just the relatively thin sheet of steel found in most vehicles--road debris punctured straight through the floorpan and rear seat of this Omaha driver's car.

It did so right under his seat, and the large piece of metal continued its journey through the rear footwell and up through the rear passenger seat. Despite the severity of the incident the driver, Charlie Colon, didn't notice the damage until he parked up. After running over the chunk of metal, he assumed he's punctured a tire.

The footage shows just how lucky he was. Had the metal punctured further forward, the news report could have been telling a very different story.

It suggests things could have been very different for the two Tesla Model S drivers whose cars caught fire after striking road debris, too. In reality, each was able to bring their car to a complete, safe halt, before emerging unscathed.

And while your car catching fire is hardly an ideal situation, being able to get out before it does so is certainly preferable to road debris entering your cabin and potentially causing serious injuries to you or a passenger.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for road debris--whatever car you're driving.


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