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Safety Question March 22, 2006 7:29 AM

I would like to get hybrid car, but my husband heard that they are not safe after a major crash. That the fire department wont cut you out of the car because it is not safe for them. Along with some batterie problems after a crash. Is this some kind of myth or is it true?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Myth March 24, 2006 3:27 PM

First responders are trained to recognize the potential hazards of a hybrid car that has been wrecked. Also, Toyota and Honda (at least) design a high degree of safety into the hybrid systems, with safety disconnects, bright color markings, and other features I can't remember. There is probably the same risk, if not greater, of your current car's gas tank causing a fire or explosion.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
First responder training April 16, 2006 5:12 AM

In most countries motor manufacturers publish safety manuals for first responders (ie they are thus available in all countries). You can actually find these manuals yourslef on Google to see what is involved. There arrre enough hybrids on the road now that emergency response organizations would be negligent not to train their staff to identify hybrid components and use suitable procedures. As another post said, the gas tank is a much greater hazard -- and does not keep brave firefighters etc away from vehicles with trapped passengers -- often even when the vehicle is on fire. Also, vehicle fires are not attcked with water (oil and water not mixing etc) but with CO2 or foam, neither of which can short circuit the electrical components in a hybrid. If you are concerned about your safety in a crash, look up the crash test results for the vehicles and look for additional safety features such as side air curtains (which are available on most hybrids). These will have a much bigger effect on your safety.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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