The latest advances in vehicle technology are making the roads safer for drivers and better for the environment. But the Missouri Department of Transportation wants to make sure that first responders like law enforcement, fire, and
MoDOT is training nearly 1,800 first responders to identify cars with multiple airbags. Some new vehicles have as many as twelve airbags and those could deploy when crews try to help extract passengers. There is also a danger of puncturing the airbag canisters when trying to cut people loose.
Responders also need to identify whether a vehicle is hybrid-electric or internal combustion. Some hybrids run just on battery power when the car is going 25 miles-an-hour or less and that creates some added precautions.
"There's voltage that has to be taken into consideration when these first responders roll up on the scene. If the batteries in the back of some of these cars have been damaged or breached, there are some gases that they need to be aware of," said Bill Whitfield who works in the MoDOT Highway Safety department.
MoDOT has seen a strong response to the training classes with full attendance rosters each session.