This is the most extreme crash test ever conducted by Volvo Cars – and it is an essential test. Car rescue experts at Volvo Cars Safety Center often use cars after a collision to hone their rescue skills.
To enable rescue services to prepare for a possible collision scenario, as well as to simulate forces in the most extreme accidents (which go beyond accidents that can be simulated by standard crash tests), Volvo Cars has recently adopted these extreme measures. Now, for the first time, several new Volvo cars have been lowered from a height of 30 meters several times.
It is a method that has made it possible to achieve sufficient damage to properly simulate the damage found in the most extreme accident scenarios: think of single-car accidents at extremely high speeds, accidents in which a car hits a truck at high speed, or accidents in which the car gets strong side kick.
In such situations, the passengers in the car are most likely in critical condition. That is why the priority task is to get out of the car as soon as possible, using a rescue hydraulic tool known as “scissors of life”, as well as to take them to the hospital. Car rescue experts often talk about the golden hour: within an hour of the accident, the injured should be pulled out of the car and taken to the hospital.
“We have been working closely with the Swedish rescue services for many years,” said Hakan Gustafson, a senior researcher with Volvo Cars. “It’s because we have the same goal: safer roads for everyone. We hope that no one will have to experience the worst accidents, although not all accidents can be avoided. That is why it is very important that there are methods that help save lives when the worst accidents happen. “
All conclusions about accidents and subsequent rescue will be collected in a comprehensive research report. The report will be available free of charge to all other rescuers, which will enable them to use the conclusions in the further development of their rescue capabilities.
Rescuers usually find their training cars in the trash. However, these cars are usually up to two decades old. In terms of steel strength, safety cage construction and general durability, there is a big difference between modern cars and cars manufactured fifteen to twenty years ago. The new Volvo models are made of the hardest steel that can be found in modern cars.
Precisely because of that, it is crucial for rescuers to constantly improve their knowledge of newer car models and to revise their own procedures in order to develop a new car rescue technique. In other words, these trainings can mean the difference between life and death. That is why, at the request of the rescue services, Volvo Cars decided to improve the situation.
“Usually we only perform car crashes in the lab, and now we’ve taken the cars off the crane for the first time,” said Hakan Gustafson. “We knew we would see extreme deformations after the experiment, so we did it to give the rescue team a real challenge to work with.”
We lowered a total of ten different Volvo models from the crane several times. Before the crash, Volvo Cars safety engineers calculated exactly how much pressure and force each car had to be exposed to reach the required degree of damage.
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