Driving is getting safer than ever with new safety features cropping up in cars like weeds on an abandoned Detroit lawn, but the same isn’t true for first responders prying people from the post-crash wreckage.
Now, SAE International is likely to push for stricter safety standards that would require labels in and out of hybrids to tell rescuers what kind of vehicle they are dealing with. Automakers are also working with fire departments to offer training on new techniques that will make rescuing crash victims faster and more effective from newer cars.
What makes the rescue so much harder or more dangerous? As it turns out, several factors common in newer cars like high-strength steel, high-voltage cables in hybrids and even keyless ignition systems.
Snipping the roof is a common way rescuers can quickly pull people from a wrecked car, but that procedure is becoming increasingly difficult as companies turn to stronger steel in an increasing number of cars. Automakers are favoring the material because it allows cars to be lighter and therefore more fuel efficient.
Similarly, there are risks when firefighters use the jaws of life to cut through a car because of high-voltage cables that can be hazardous if still carrying a current. To make matters worse, convenience features like keyless ignition mean it can be difficult to tell if a vehicles, EVs especially, are still running.
[Source: USA Today]