New Automotive Safety Features Endanger First Responders

Car safety has been a priority for automakers in recent decades. But as automobiles have become safer for drivers and passengers, they have become more dangerous for EMTs and First Responders.

High tension steel and high-voltage cables are primarily to blame, along with an overall increase in vehicle electronics.

Hybrid vehicles are particularly dangerous, but even the average run-of-the-mill sedan is more complex than in recent years.

Automakers, however, have been working with Fire & Rescue groups across the country to improve communication, labels and ultimately safety, according to USA Today.

KIA, a Korean automaker, recently donated 32 2009 Borrego SUVs to a Fire and Rescue training center in Los Angeles.

For training, firefighters usually end up with much older cars, most of which do not have modern safety features, such as multiple airbags. While airbags have been standard since the late 1980s, most modern cars come with many more. Scion’s new IQ, for example, comes standard with 12 airbags — the highest in the industry.

Firefighters need to be familiar with such technology to protect themselves during rescue attempts.

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