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Old 7th April 2020, 10:21   #1
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Default Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

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You’ve probably all seen standardized crash tests where cars filled with dummies crash into rigid or deformable barriers. But have you seen many crash tests of fully-loaded cargo vehicles? Check out this Mercedes Vito filled with 1,700 pounds of concrete blocks crashing into a wall at 31 mph. It’s disturbing.

The crash test of this van related to actor Danny De comes to us from a Swiss company called Dynamic Test Center, which specializes in safety research and serves “Vehicle and aircraft manufacturers and suppliers, garages, the public sector, insurance companies, courts and individuals.”
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Here’s the crash test of the Vito loaded with 771 kg of “concrete rings for plants” in the cargo area:


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Dynamic Test Center has a number of other fascinating videos of loaded-up vehicles crashing. I myself have always been curious about such crash scenarios, but have never actually seen footage of any testing. Like, here’s what happens when a flatbed truck loaded with a car crashes into a barrier:




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The main takeaway is that adding a ton of weight that isn’t rigidly mounted to your car is not a good thing for crash protection.
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Old 7th April 2020, 15:12   #2
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Jeremy Clarkson would have screamed TOAST! after watching the first video.

But except Maruti Omni, all commercial vehicles have a separate crew and cargo area. Right?

Last edited by SmartCat : 7th April 2020 at 15:13.
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Old 7th April 2020, 17:47   #3
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Being a consummate driver, I was often the chosen one to ferry around household furniture whenever anyone moved home in the US.

The nastiest mistake I ever made with these moving trucks involved an unsecured dolly with wheels (a contraption to move heavy stuff which we had rented but never used anyway) in the cargo hold of an empty 15 foot U-haul truck that I once drove on the highway. The dolly was quite heavy. Twice, I had to slam the brakes in traffic and the dolly had loudly slammed into the back of the cabin. It ended up slightly deforming the wall separating the cabin and the cargo.
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Old 7th April 2020, 18:19   #4
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
But except Maruti Omni, all commercial vehicles have a separate crew and cargo area. Right?
Yeah, for ex. the Eeco Cargo has a separator grille to hold cargo back in case of heavy braking.

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Here’s the crash test of the Vito loaded with 771 kg of “concrete rings for plants” in the cargo area
Those 'concrete' blocks only weighed 771 kg?! Payload of these vans is hardly 500-600 kg and meant to carry voluminous bulky stuff, not meant to carry concrete blocks!
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Last edited by ds.raikkonen : 7th April 2020 at 18:23.
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Old 7th April 2020, 20:16   #5
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Unsecured cargo is very dangerous.
Have seen accidents where the drivers cabin has been badly damaged due to the cargo, which intruded inside the cabin due to sudden halt of the vehicle. That can be due to hard braking or an accident.

The reason we wear seat belts, for the same reason the cargo needs to be tied securely. In-fact, I avoid keeping lose objects in the cabin. I prefer to keep them in the boot.
We all have seen, in case of an evasive maneuver, how untied objects or human beings without seat-belt results to.

The more the mass/cargo, the more the risk!

A very detailed article on the same topic.

http://www.nvfnorden.org/lisalib/get...spx?itemid=391

Things can get as nasty as this-
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This pic is shared from the above article.

Last edited by Samba : 7th April 2020 at 20:30.
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Old 7th April 2020, 20:21   #6
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
But except Maruti Omni, all commercial vehicles have a separate crew and cargo area. Right?
Even the Omni "Cargo" variant had a separate cargo area, similar to Eeco:

Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo-190261618077642small.jpg
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Old 7th April 2020, 23:03   #7
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Hi Fellow BHPians,
I don't want to play devils advocate here- but such crash tests are unnecessary in my opinion. Waste of a perfectly functioning vehicle, crash test dummies, and the time of a lot of people. For decades, it is a well known fact that cargo (or people) will be forced to move with high acceleration during crashes. I think it is time the Indian government regulates the capacity of CVs, ensure that they have latches and belts to minimize cargo movement during accidents.

Regarding the picture of the Omni & Eeco: I doubt that grill is going to be helpful when the crash speeds are moderate. The design looks like a cantilever and doesn't seem to have the reinforcement/support from primary chassis members.
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Old 8th April 2020, 08:57   #8
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Unsecured cargo can be extremely dangerous to other road users as well. How many times have we seen goods that are shoddily held together in a truck / tempo? The last thing I want when cruising at 120 kmph is to have a big box of cargo suddenly fall in front of my car .
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Old 8th April 2020, 09:57   #9
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Not surprising at all! Not just cargo vans, i keep even very small things enclosed in the glove box in my car. Every small thing is like a missile under sudden braking conditions/unfortunate accidents. Lesser the weight, more the acceleration!
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Old 8th April 2020, 10:05   #10
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

The same effect will happen with unsecured humans. Whoever is not strapped in, will be thrown violently forward in case of a crash.

always wear your seatbelt, also passengers in the rear seat. If not for themselves for the persons in front of them.

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Old 8th April 2020, 10:56   #11
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

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The same effect will happen with unsecured humans. Whoever is not strapped in, will be thrown violently forward in case of a crash.

I had experienced one such incident. In a long journey, a teenager was sleeping in the backseat and obviously he didn't wear any seat belt. I had to brake hard from triple digit speeds when I came close to a dead animal on the center of the highway. I initially thought that it was a mirage and didn't reduce the speed. When I came closer, I realized I had to brake hard as I couldn't maneuver my SUV around the carcass at that speed.
Result - the teenager flew across the narrow confines and slammed into the front seats. Fortunately no damage occurred. After that I don't allow anyone to sleep in the backseat.
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Old 19th April 2020, 13:17   #12
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

This is the primary reason why airlines ask you to put away laptops and tablets during takeoff and landing, but allow phones.
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Old 19th April 2020, 17:18   #13
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

The same applies to passengers cars as well, if I remember correctly, only the Fiat Punto had the back side of rear seats covered with a metal sheet to prevent intrusion of any items kept in the boot into the rear seat in case of collision. They even advertised it as a safety feature on their website.

I've posted this in the accidents thread earlier, seen how luggage kept in the rear seat of a Maruti Eeco landed on the rear occupants' head and hands when their car rolled over. One of the reasons why I prefer sedans over cross-overs, the boot is isolated from cabin to some extent.
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Old 20th April 2020, 20:40   #14
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Default Re: Crash test of loaded van reveals dangers of unsecured cargo

Vehicles like Omni and Eeco are definitely at a bit of cargo risk during a crash, given their design. But 1700 pounds of concrete? I mean, come on, no one has that kind of cargo in their Omni or Eeco.

I'm a FedEx driver in Canada. We usually drive Mercedes Sprinters or Ford Transit vans here, and all of them have a bulkhead door separating the cargo area from the driver's cabin, like the picture below. (Image credits to sprinterworld.com)

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Even in India, any commercial vehicle that would typically be used for carrying that kind of cargo usually has some kind of partition between the driver and cargo (eg. Tata Ace/Piaggio Ape etc.) I don't see the point of stuffing 1700 pounds of concrete into a minivan and making a crash test video of it.
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