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I have heard that Insights can be dangerous to own because if you get into a reck, and if a rescue worker for example goes to get you out of the car they would use the Jaws of Life or hit the car door at a certain joint to cause the door to come off and if the rescue worker doesn't know what they are doing they could injure themselves since there is alot of wires in the Insight, and since it is an electric car, there is a big power cupling or wire by the door that they could electrocute themselves. That is why the EMP people have to take special training on how to deal with electric vechicles such as the Insight and other electric vechicles. Also that if you get into a reck with the car it will just crumble to peices since it is made of aluminum. Any "Insight" on this would be very helpful, thanks.
 
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Hi Chris:

___This has been discussed in the past and no, rescue workers have not and will not be injured in a rescue of someone trapped in an Insight anymore then someone trapped in just about any other car. As for Aluminum crumpling, the Insight has a mostly 4 star crash rating all around from the NHTSA. This is actually a better rating then most other compacts and sub-compacts one would be interested in. Look in the knowledge base for details as to the aluminum construction of the Insight. Aluminum can be and is in many cases stronger and of course lighter then the steel it was meant to replace when it is formed for safety with increased rigidity.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2qjc4ogs][email protected][/email:2qjc4ogs]

 

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The power lines run in the center of the underbody, far from the doors so there's very little risk there to someone using the jaws of life. They're also encased in bright orange platic so they're pretty obvious.

In crash tests, the car earned a 4 star safety rating,
http://www.insightcentral.net/KB/faq-index-suitability.html

There are some documented accidents right here:
http://www.insightcentral.net/KB/accidents.html

With regards to the body, it may be aluminum but it's designed to crush in a way that protects the occupants. It's no volvo but it's comaratively as safe as other compacts. Perhaps safer. And definitely cooler.

The body:
http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclopedia/enaluminum.html

HTH
 

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I seem to recall back in the 80s or maybe even late 70s when Volvo did faked commercials where they reinforced the cars with 2x4s and lumber and then dropped things on them and said, "Oooooh, look how great our cars are in wrecks."

Does anyone remember this? It was a big scandal at the time.

I don't trust anything they say since then.
 

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In addition to what's been said above, it is HIGHLY unlikely that you would be injured even if you did cut the electrical cables. That notion follows from the idea that electricity is some kind of magic vapor that kills you if you touch it. The electricity will ONLY pass through you if it has a good path to get to an area of lower potential. So, for instance, if you touched the body of the car and the positive power cable, you may get electrocuted. May. (Depending on where you touch the car and stuff.)

However. Electrical current flow likes to take the easiest path - so, if for instance, you had a rubber-handled metal device, and touched the body of the car while cutting the positive power cable, you have one path from the cable, to the metal tool (which conducts well) to the body and possibly the frame or something. This is a relatively easy path for the current to take. The alternative is to travel up the tool (easy), through the rubber or plastic grips, (hard) through your skin (hard), through your blood, (somewhat easy) through your skin again (hard) and then into the body of the car.

Basically, the only circumstance that you will get electrocuted is if you provide a path for the current to flow from the positive to ground, AND if that path is the only path or at least a path of somewhat comparable resistance.

For instance, the path through the jaws of life, directly into the metal that you are cutting into, probrably has a resistance of 1 to 10 ohms. (I'm guessing, it will depend on what exactly the jaws of life are made of and the path through the body/frame to the battery.) For comparison, the path through your body is a couple dozen thousand ohms, and through the rubber or plastic grips on the jaws of life (and gloves) is probrably going to be anywhere between 20,000 and 100,000 ohms.

So, you're looking at, say 100,000 ohms, versus 10. By Ohm's Law, 10,000 times as much current will go through the direct route as will go through the person. So, you get about 144 nanoamperes flowing through your frail form. In other words, unless you are the ONLY path to the ground, (unlikely since you are cutting through metal with the metal jaws of life at the time) you are going to get less of a shock than you get from holding a watch battery.

Of course, that does not apply if you are the only path to ground, which again, is not likely in the jaws of life scenario. The jaws of life, however, will pass a lot of current, and they'll probrably melt and fuse on the cable. So I guess in THAT sense your chance of survival may be hindered if the Jaws of Life get destroyed.
 

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I agree. If the metals jaws of the jaws were cutting the wire, which is well on impossible given where the wires are in the first place, then they would just short out the battery and the wires would fry. The metal of he jaws would survive just fine as would anyone holding onto the jaws.

Think of the demonstrations of the folks who stand in the metal cages and have sparks jump around them. The electricity doesn't violate the fundamental laws of physics to zap the human safely protected by the presence of the conductor.

You have to be alert to fear mongering by those who want to hold back progress. Much of the developed world has had electricity in its houses for a long time now, but people are still living in those houses. The electricity seems to be pretty good about staying in the wires. Fire on the other hand doesn't seem to care much and will try to burn up anything that it can get its sooty little paws on...

That is perhaps the best argument of all for why the Insight is the safest car for rescue workers. Period. What car has the smallest gas tank? Hmmm... I think I would rather be working to save someone from a car where a only a few gallons of gas might burn rather than some guzzler car where barrels of gas are sozzling the entire accident site and ready to burn everyone for miles when the spark hits.
 

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Chris, it is difficult to imagine how a serious health risk could occur as the power only flows in the wires when the Insight is braking or accelerating aggressively. Many safety features would have to fail, other IMA electronic systems malfunction, the rescue worker would have to act in unusual and ignorant ways and there would have to be a sequence of unfortunate circumstances for any life threat to be present.

It is interesting to note that in the early days of electrical power generation there was a great debate about the relative safety of DC voltage versus AC voltage. The fears were flamed by the rhetoric of competing power generating companies. (You can read about this in the Biography of Thomas Edison) Those who fear or dislike hybrids are searching for a boogey man.
 

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Don't forget, the IMA has several fuses throughout the car, or AT LEAST 2 that I know of. One fuse under the hood, the other in the fuse block by floor on the drivers side. If anything were to short, one of the fuses would blow and would break the electrical circuit causing no current to flow. Also, if rescue workers were concerned about their well being around a hybrid vehicle (particularly the Insight), there is a power switch on the IMA Battery pack itself, if you pull off the cargo area carpeting (takes about 3 seconds) there is a large aluminum flooring, with a small aluminum plate in the center with 2 bolts (probably 10mm or so) if that plate is removed, it will expose the power switch for the IMA Battery pack. The switch can be turned off, and the battery pack's power will be removed from all wires throughout the car and there will be nothing left but a mere 12 Volts throughout the entire car which is just enough to get your attention, and can also be easily disconnected and is recommended before powering off the IMA pack.

http://hometown.aol.com/ilusnforc/insight.html

You can see the switch, in the first picture it's just to the left of the orange cable running from the two computers. Sorry about the poor quality, I only had my cell phone with me at the time and thankfully it is capable of taking pictures or I would have none at all.
 
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