Getting treatment in the first hour after a traumatic injury is often the most important to saving a life. Extreme car crashes that result in significant damage can slow rescue crews, resulting in valuable time lost. Volvo has dropped 10 cars from a crane to help rescue crews test, measure, and perfect their extrication methods on modern vehicles. These are built differently than the junkyard cars rescue crews often use.
The drop, 30 meters (98 feet), simulates extreme car crashes, like high-speed accidents or crashes between two dissimilarly sized vehicles. Volvo also simulated accidents to areas of the car that lack crumple zones. This is the first time Volvo has done this, resulting in a real challenge for rescuers, who are using the cars to study and measure their rescue methods, tracking the needed pressures, forces, and time each technique takes. The goal is to access and extricate people from car crashes more quickly with the correct best practices and tools.
Volvo also crashed newer cars for rescuers who noted that older cars, often sourced from scrap yards, are much older. These vehicles were built differently with different strength materials and safety standards. Newer cars are more durable and tough, presenting new challenges for rescue crews that deal with a variety of years, makes, and models. Information gleaned from the study will be compiled in an extensive report that'll be made available free to rescue workers in Sweden and possibly the rest of the world.
According to Håkan Gustafson, a senior investigator with the Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research Team, Volvo has worked closely with Swedish rescue services for many years. "That is because we have the same goal: to have safer roads for all," he added. While cars are safer than ever before, those increased safety measures designed to protect the occupant can become a hurdle to rescuers. Having the ability to work and practice on new cars is valuable to public safety.