Volvo 30M Drop Test | Taking Crash Testing To A New Level

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Published 16 November 2020

It is the most extreme crash test ever executed by Volvo Cars, and a crucial one. Extrication specialists often use cars crashed at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre to hone their life-saving skills.

 To allow rescue services to prepare for any possible crash scenario and to simulate the forces that erupt in the most extreme crashes, beyond what can be simulated with ordinary crash testing, Volvo Cars recently took equally extreme measures. For the first time, it dropped several new Volvos multiple times from a crane, from a height of 30 metres.

 This approach helped create enough damage to adequately simulate the damage found in the most extreme crash scenarios: think of single-car accidents at very high speed, accidents whereby a car hits a truck at high speed, or accidents whereby a car takes a severe hit from the side.

 In such situations, people inside the car are likely to be in a critical condition. Therefore the priority is to get people out of the car and to a hospital as quickly as possible, using hydraulic rescue tools known in the industry as ‘jaws of life’. Extrication specialists often talk about the golden hour: they need to release and get a patient to the hospital within one hour after the accident has happened.

 “We have been working closely together with the Swedish rescue services for many years,” says Håkan Gustafson, a senior investigator with the Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research Team. “That is because we have the same goal: to have safer roads for all. We hope no one ever needs to experience the most severe accidents, but not all accidents can be avoided. So it is vital there are methods to help save lives when the most severe accidents do happen.”