Rear Design Features of Vehicles: Part 1

Subject:  Rear Design Features of Vehicles:  Part 1

Topic:  Identifying Rear Design Features of Vehicles

Objective:  Identify by name the operating features found at the rear of selected vehicles and how those features operate.

Task:  Given pictures of the rear of vehicles, identify the design features by name and explain how the rear of the vehicle opens under normal conditions.

Series Links: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Access pathways to reach the interior of a vehicle at a crash scene include doors, windows, windshield and the body of the vehicle. Side doors are used most often to reach those inside. If the vehicle is a sport utility vehicle (SUV), minivan, hatchback sedan or station wagon, access may be gained through the rear of the vehicle as well. With over 180 different makes and models of vehicles produced this current model year, it is important that responders recognize what design features are at the rear of a vehicle and how those features operate.

At a crash, if access the patients or a pathway to extricate them will be through the rear of the vehicle, the first step is to understand how the features operate normally. Vehicle terminology describing these rear design features is presented to assist in standardizing this aspect of vehicle rescue training:

· A lift window is a glass window, hinged at the roofline, that opens upward. This provides an opening of the upper half, 50%, of the rear. A lift window can be framed or unframed tempered glass. It is also called a lift glass by some automakers.

· A power window is a retractable window glass that lowers inside a tailgate. When lowered, the power window provides approximately a 50% opening across the top of the tailgate.

· A lift gate is a full-height one-piece unit, hinged at the roofline, that opens upward. This provides an opening of 100% of the rear of the vehicle.

· A tailgate is a one-piece unit, hinged along the floorline, that opens out and down. When open, a tailgate provides a 50% opening along the lower half of the rear of the vehicle.

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