Volvo enjoys a long history of having some of the safest cars on the road. Their Accident Research Team recently celebrated 50 years of service with milestones that included the introduction of three-point seatbelts and side impact airbags… standard equipment in most of today’s consumer vehicles. The team of safety detectives includes experts in biomechanics, physicists, and behavioral scientists who work with emergency services in Sweden. Volvo’s ultimate quest is for zero deaths and serious injuries for drivers and passengers in their cars and SUVs.
Enter the crane
Hotcars.com recently reported about dramatic new testing methods conducted by Volvo with the use of an all-terrain crane. They decided to crash test ten new vehicles by dropping each from 30 meters (98 feet) in the air. Upon collision with large steel plates placed on the ground below, first responders quickly went to work to access the passenger cabin areas with Jaws of Life. Other than the cool aspect of seeing what happens to a car dropped from such a height, Volvo said that this method allowed engineers to recreate what happens when vehicles crumble in the most extreme collisions. The results are beyond what can be accomplished with normal crash testing performed in a lab.
Why drop brand new cars?
Volvo decided to use new cars for this test because first responders need to understand the difference between the way a 15-year-old Honda and a 2020 Volvo respond to the jaws of life. Practicing on wrecked cars in the junkyard doesn’t offer insight into safety features built into new vehicles.
These falling tests are intended to simulate the most extreme collisions, meaning that occupants would be in a really bad state. The first responders who participated in this experiment will be better equipped to quickly extract victims from their vehicles and to the hospital for treatment.
View Volvo’s amazing testing procedure by clicking here.