WATCH | This is what happens to a car dropped from 10 storeys

Volvo smashes cars in dramatic tests to help train rescue workers

16 November 2020 - 10:54 By Motoring Reporter
Volvo has dropped cars from a crane to simulate the worst road accidents.
Volvo has dropped cars from a crane to simulate the worst road accidents.
Image: supplied

Volvo Cars has dropped several of its vehicles from a 30m crane - the equivalent of a 10-storey building - in the most extreme crash test executed by the Swedish automotive company. 

The exercise at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg was to allow rescue service workers hone their life-saving skills. Dropping the cars from the crane simulated forces that erupt in the most extreme crashes, beyond what can be simulated with ordinary crash testing.

This approach helped create enough damage to adequately simulate the damage found in the most extreme crash scenarios, in which people inside the car are likely to be in a critical condition.

The priority is to get people out of the car and to a hospital as quickly as possible, using hydraulic rescue tools known as jaws of life.

Extrication specialists often talk about the "golden hour" in which patients need to be released and delivered to a hospital within 60 minutes after the accident has happened.

Usually, rescue workers get their training vehicles from scrapyards, but these cars are often up to two decades old.In terms of steel strength, safety cage construction and overall durability, there is a vast difference between modern cars and those built 15 to 20 years ago. 

This makes it crucial for rescue workers to constantly update their familiarity with newer car models and review their processes to develop new extrication techniques that can mean the difference between life and death, says Volvo.

Watch how Volvo Cars drops new cars from 30m to help rescue services save lives.