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  1. #1
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    Default Honda Civic Hybrid VS Tree

    I responded to a vehicle catapulted into a tree last week. The question that I have is with the damage to the vehicle (it would not fit on a flat bed tow truck) and the appearance of the high voltage wier (orange) holding the rear ofthe vehicle to the front ofthe vehicle.

    What is the potential for electrical shock from the wires being compromised by sheath damage and contacting the metal of the vehicle?

    The civic was well over 80mph, slide out from #1 lane to #4 lane and into a large tree. I could step into the vehicles back seat without ducking around the roof/door or A, B, or C post. The firewall was connected to the A post passenger side, and the engine compartment was attached to the firewall A post drivers side. (if the driver wantedto he could not have touched the streering wheel with his right foot). THe entire door panel from the passenger side(A through C post) was at the drivers head at a 45 degree angle (we cut that off to make extraction of the patient easier. The floor board was ripped at the front of the drivers seat. It was very difficult to assess the entire vehicvle and I did not recognize this vehicle as a Hybrid.

    The question I have is this: How safe is a vehicle with DC Electricity, when the high voltage wires may or maynot be compromised due to damage from a vehicle. Is there a method testing a vehicle to determine if it is charged? I have heard of throwing a tool at fences in the wildland for powerlines down. Is a simple voltage testor goingt o work to indicate the pressence of elctricity charged hybrid vehicle. I can not exactly call PG&E to DC the wires.

    Andrew Logan
    Hoc Majorum Vitrus

    If you read this post I would like some feed back on this matter.

    Yes the driver was ETOH, with Pneumo/Hemo, Fx Femur, GCS 5, Deceabrate posturing and on followup was suppose to live. The only part of the car that was salvagable was the passenger taillight.

    ADL


  2. #2
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes,the potential is there for the vehicle to be energized if the insulation is compromised.And there is NOTHING you can do to a Civic that will prevent it from being removed on a carrier once it is accessible.Put it on and chain it down,in pieces if necessary.I've loaded a vehicle larger than a civic in four pieces before.There are vehicle specific procedures for different mfgs of hybrids but ALL require training and linesman gloves to mess with the high voltage battery packs/wires. T.C.

  3. #3
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    Default hybrid Crashes

    Andrew,

    While there is potential for exposure to HV energy in a situation like you discribe here, there are also safety systems built into hybrid vehicles to limit that potential. There is also a federal vehicle safety standard that sets limits for exposure for occupants & first responders to both HV energy & hazmat from the HV systems. while that standard requires crash testing it does not include the type of vehicle damage you discribe.

    In addition the design of the HV systems limits the exposure we could face; since the HV system is an isolated system not ground to either the vehilce frame (as in a 12 volt electrical system) or to the earth (as in household current) there a few scenarios that first responders could be exposed to HV energy other then physical contact with a HV componate such as the HV battery, cables, or conections. The vehicle itself should not become energized by the HV system and even if it did there is no earth ground, so by just touching the vehicle we should not be exposed to HV energy. That being said we have very limited real life experience with these systems in high damage crashes such as this, be very carefull out there least we learn something new the hard way!!!!

    There are steps to take to power down a Hybrid HV system at a crash scene:
    assure the vehicle is placed in park and the igintion is turned off, disconect the 12 volt battery, and removing HV relay/HV fuse (not the HV service disconect) will start power down the HV system even if it did not automaticly disconect from crash forces/damage. But the HV energy will still exsist in the HV battery. From your discription these procedures may not have been possible at this crash scene. I am gald to hear their were not responder injuries. take care
    George

  4. #4
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    Andrew,
    I have been looking at this all week, I have a few questions.
    1. I understand that it was a side impact but, was there any frontal airbags deployed? (Steering wheel or passenger)

    2. Was the 12 volt cables cut or disconnected?

    3. Was any of the orange wires frad or cut were you could see the silver breaded wire inside it.

    4. And do you happen to have any pictures.
    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

  5. #5
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    LeeJunkins,

    Yes all airbags deployed. Steering wheel, passenger, side airbags.

    The 12 volt battery was laying in the PT lap.

    Orange wire cut through with wires.

    I have pictures coming from CHP and the Tow company, will figure how to post next week.

    Where are you going with your questions?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew15logan View Post
    LeeJunkins,

    Yes all airbags deployed. Steering wheel, passenger, side airbags.

    The 12 volt battery was laying in the PT lap.

    Orange wire cut through with wires.

    I have pictures coming from CHP and the Tow company, will figure how to post next week.

    Where are you going with your questions?
    I am trying to see if there could possibly have been any danger in that bad of a crash. To date we have not seen a Hybrid with that sever of damage.

    1. Many of the late Hybrids have a safety feature that if the crash is sever enough to deploy the frontal airbags it will automatically shut down the HV system.

    2. With the 12v battery disconnected all capacitors would have been drained by the time you responded.

    3. The orange cables are ground fault wires, there is a wire in the center, then a layer of insulation, then a layer of steel webbing, then another layer of orange insulation. If the cable is damaged the center wire and the web type wire will short together and blow a fuse in the HV battery pack shutting down the system.

    For complete info go to www.midsouthrescue.org click on Hybrid Vehicles in the navigation bar, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Emergency Response to Hybrid Vehicles. This is a very large power point and may take several minutes to download but it has a very detailed section on every Hybrid model.
    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

  7. #7
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    Lee Junkins,

    I have yet to recieve the puc's. I am looking forwarrd to the PPT and found out about the (2 different metals) inner /core and the outer sheath for monitoring. Looking into a dealship for specific questions about each of the different types of Hybrids. Am still interested in more information, looking for industry standards (fallacy) for design ideas.

    Andrew Logan

    Hoc Majorum Vitrus

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