Auto manufacturers are walking a strange tightrope these days. With the advent of hybrid-electric cars and other more fuel efficient automobiles, the way cars are being made is changing, and this change is making rescues harder, and more dangerous, for firefighters and first responders. So, in the event of a car accident in Pennsylvania, the people in the car may actually be safer than the men and women who are saving them.
These new cars designed to keep drivers safe in a car accident in Pennsylvania come with a slew of features which emergency responders don’t have enough experience dealing with. Most of the cars that firefighters and first responders practice dismantling are older models, and, therefore, they are sometimes stumped during those vital first minutes on the scene of a car accident in Pennsylvania.
Here are some of the features that present problems to responders:
Air Bags: If, for any reason, an air bag fails to inflate during a car accident in Pennsylvania, the propellant tanks which deploy might explode if punctured by a responders extraction tools.
High-voltage Cables: The batteries and other workings of a hybrid car require the use of high-voltage cables which, if improperly handled, can be extremely hazardous to extraction professionals.
Stronger Steel: To increase gas mileage, manufacturers are making use of high-strength steel which, strangely, is lighter than normal steel used in cars but is more difficult to tear and bend. This means responders are having a tougher time quickly tearing through a car’s steal.
Keyless Ignitions: New approaches to key ignitions — like push-button ignitions — create the problem of not knowing if an engine is running, particularly in hybrid cars.
In the event of a car accident in Pennsylvania, a first responder can’t waste a single second. Unfortunately, time has to be given to figuring out what kind of car a responder is dealing with. For example, there are now versions of standard cars (like Toyota Camrys) which have identical hybrid versions. Figuring out what kind of car a responder is dealing with can waste valuable time.
The Society of Automotive Engineers is developing ways to let responders know what they’re in for, as it were, creating labels which denote the kind of engine the car has and publishing a guide which indicates all electric and hybrid car models, including hazards which each individual car may present to responders.
A car accident in Pennsylvania is a dangerous occurrence, and while technology allows for cars to be safer during an accident, there is much and more to consider. With every advancement, extracting a passenger from a car becomes more and more like performing surgery for a firefighter or first responder.
For more information on car accident in Pennsylvania, or updates on technical advancements in the auto industry, check out the other articles on the Carpey Law website. Our blog category page has a hundreds of useful articles to help keep you informed.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.