All-Electric Nissan LEAF Rear-Ends Bus

By · February 06, 2012

Nissan LEAF bus accident

A Nissan LEAF rear-ended a school bus and, despite being heavily damaged, the LEAF shows us that plug-in vehicles can be safe.

The federal investigation into safety concerns related to the Chevy Volt were closed last month, and hopefully will continue to recede in the rear-view mirror. As opposed to the simulated tests conducted on the Volt, real-world accidents involving plug-in cars will begin to create a set of data points about EV safety.

Just last week, Oregon's Yamhill Valley News-Register reported that a 2011 Nissan LEAF collided with a Yamhill-Carlton school bus in the early morning hours of Jan. 31. Fortunately, the school bus was empty and the driver of the LEAF, Robert Hill, suffered only minor injuries.

Oregon State Police were called to the scene and cited Hill for careless driving. It's believed that Hill rear-ended the bus, which was stopped waiting to turn left after traffic cleared.

State troopers report that the LEAF's front and side airbags deployed. Hill was treated for his injuries at the scene. Meanwhile, the driver of the bus escaped injury.

Though Gaston Rural Fire District was on the scene, the heavily damaged Nissan LEAF did not ignite—providing at least one example of a crashed electric vehicle showing zero signs of possible fire. There are nearly 20,000 new plug-in cars on US roads, and unfortunately some of them will be in accidents. Each case will teach us something—and ultimately, the aggregate data from all EV-related accidents will create a sober and realistic accounting of the relative fire safety of an electric car versus vehicles fueled by gasoline or diesel.


· Andreas (not verified) · 6 years ago

Pretty unsafe school bus...
you can easily see, that the front bumper (and the underlying structure) did not take any energy out of the crash due to the high unprotected rear end of the school bus. In Europe all trucks have to have protection bars for this kind of crash. So why not the historic school buses in the US?
Fortunately for Mr. Hill he was not very fast at the time of impact...

· · 6 years ago

Perhaps worth noting is that according to the good people over at the mynissanleaf forum, the vehicle is now property of the insurance company and is up for auction.

The Nissan LEAF community may end up with some interesting parts to experiment on!

· · 6 years ago

Right, and remember the Hummer that rear ended a school bus? It darn near tore the roof off...


· goldenfooler (not verified) · 6 years ago

While its a loss of a car. I doubt the battery was anywhere near in trouble.

· · 6 years ago

@goldenfooler - I agree if the Leaf would have caught fire that would have been very disturbing given this was nowhere near the Leaf battery.

· · 6 years ago

What? No mushroom cloud?

· Chris O (not verified) · 6 years ago

Mushroom cloud? No, that would be hydrogen....

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