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Volvo Traffic Accident Research Team continues to revolutionize passenger safety after 30 years


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Volvo Traffic Accident Research Team continues to revolutionize


passenger safety after 30 years


GÖTEBORG, SWEDEN -- For 30 years, teams of dedicated researchers have looked into history to help create the future of safety at Volvo Car Corporation.


That is how long Volvo has been gathering and analyzing data from real car crashes in Sweden. This year, on the 30th anniversary of the Volvo Traffic Accident Research Team, generations of these safety researchers can look back on their work and know their contribution to innovations like the SIPS side impact protection system, the revolutionary WHIPS whiplash protection system and numerous child safety products have helped set new standards for safety at Volvo.


The Volvo Cars Traffic Accident Research Team was launched in 1970 as a direct response to the company's road-traffic survey, conducted in Sweden in 1966 and 1967. From this initial research, the company understood the value of compiling data from actual accidents and made the research team a permanent part of the company's product development process. Over 28,000 accidents, involving more than 40,000 passengers, have been investigated.


The research team gathers accident data from two main sources:


In-depth investigations of incidents at the actual sites, and statistical monitoring using data obtained from Volvo's own insurance company, Volvia. The incident research includes interviews with car occupants and studies of medical records that provide descriptions of personal injuries.


The team is on constant standby and is alerted by the emergency services when serious collisions involving Volvo cars occur within a given distance from their headquarters in Göteborg in western Sweden. At an accident site, the researchers gather all the relevant data for later analysis, noting the precise details of the incident and its consequences. The team's doctor contacts the hospital treating any passengers in order to obtain information about any injuries they may have.


By studying the data, it has been possible to identify which personal injuries arise in different types of collisions and to examine incidents according to occupant category, both male and female adults and children.


The information gathered by the Volvo team is provided to engineers at Volvo Cars, who use it to improve the existing safety systems and develop new ones to tackle the most common causes of personal injury.


"Since we've been using data first-hand from actual accidents, it has always been easy for us to work closely with our engineers, leading to an easy transition from real-life experience to practical application of this knowledge," says Volvo's Christer Gustafsson, who has been researching car accidents since 1980.





Lisa Graham

Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd.

(416) 490-5834


Doug Mepham

MacDonald & Co.

(416) 975-1572

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