Small Overlap Crashes

Small Overlap Frontal Crash Test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety uses a small overlap front crash test to determine how vehicles will fare during that type of crash in a real world environment. What we need to understand is Auto Makers are refining and redesigning their vehicles to perform better in a small overlap crash.  However, many vehicles on the road will not protect our patients enough to allow them to simply get out of the vehicle. Doors may need to be removed and the dash (IP – Instrument Panel) could be trapping the patient and need to be displaced.  Watch the video below and start running some scenarios in your mind how you would handle an accident with heavy leg entrapment.

Crash Results

The chart below shows how different full-size trucks performed during the small overlap crash.  Small overlap crushes of vehicles with Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor are likely to have occupants with foot/lower leg injuries from entrapment.


The image below shows a the intrusion into the occupants space and trapping or the legs.  The other vehicle performed better and the occupant most likely is not trapped.  Always size up the entire vehicle when an occupant is trapped.  Some Auto Makers are uses wheels that will absorb the impact and deform and/or break to help adsorb the impact of a crash.


There was extensive occupant compartment intrusion in the Ram 1500 Quad Cab (left), resulting in a poor rating for structure. In contrast, survival space was well-maintained in the Ford F-150 Supercab (right). Photo Credit IIHS

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