Treatment in the first hour after a traumatic injury is often the most important thing to save a life. Extreme car accidents resulting in significant damage can slow down rescue workers and lose valuable time. Volvo dropped 10 cars from a crane to help rescue teams test, measure and perfect their rescue methods on modern vehicles. These are built differently than the junkyard cars that rescue workers often use.

The height difference of 30 meters simulates extreme car accidents such as high-speed accidents or accidents between two vehicles of different sizes. Volvo also simulated accidents in areas of the car where there are no crumple zones. This is the first time Volvo has done this, which is a real challenge for rescuers who use the cars to study and measure their rescue methods and keep track of the required pressures, forces and time that each technique takes. The goal is to have faster access to people and free them from car accidents with the right best practices and tools.

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Volvo also crashed newer cars for rescuers, noting that older cars, which often come from junk yards, are much older. These vehicles were built differently with different strength materials and safety standards. Newer cars are more durable and rugged, and pose new challenges for rescue workers dealing with a wide variety of years, makes and models. The information obtained from the study will be summarized in a comprehensive report which will be made available free of charge to rescue workers in Sweden and possibly the rest of the world.

Volvo has worked closely with Swedish emergency services for many years, according to Håkan Gustafson, a senior investigator on the Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research Team. “That’s because we have the same goal: safer roads for everyone,” he added. While cars are safer than ever, these heightened safety measures to protect the occupant can become a hurdle for rescuers. The ability to work and practice on new cars is of great value to public safety.