Dodge needs to seriously rethink spare tire placement!

At 14:24 hrs today December 4, 2009 we dispatched to the intersection of Flat Top Rd and Reeder Rd to an elderly male whose carhad fell on his head. Upon arrival at 14:26 we found a 53 year old white male laying on the side of the road alert and responsive with moderate head trauma. After further injury assesment, we found the patient was bleeding heavily from his right ear and had a puncture wound to the back of his head. The patient stated his 2008 Dodge Caravan had fell on his head while he was attempting to remove the spare tire from under his vehicle. The patient subsequently was trauma alerted and flown to UAB Hospital by Lifesaver.

Now that I've explained the call let me explain my point behind this blog. The vehicle involved in the accident was a 2008 Dodge Caravan, on this particular vehicle the spare tire is mounted underneath the vehicle as most spares are. However, on the Caravan the spare tire is mounted in the middle of the vehicle underneath the driver and passenger front seats. The spare tire being in this position means in order to remove the spare you must jack the vehicle up with the very unstable scissor jack and then slide half way under the vehicle in order to remove the spare from the hanger. While our patient was attempting to remove the spare from the hanger the jack collapsed and the vehicle fell on his head.

As an experienced mechanic having seen alot of different vehicles, I think this incident should be a wake up call to automotive manufacturers! With all the new technologies and modern advances in autotmotive manufacturing one would think this should be a major safety issue due to the location of the spare tire and the fact that you have to get UNDER the middle of the vehicle to remove the tire.