Some vehicles are not designed to handle the cargo which is routinely placed in the hatch or trunk area. During some types of collisions, including frontal, the cargo becomes a projectile, striking the back of the seat in front of it. If the seat is not strong enough to withstand the impact, the seat and/or cargo can become a source of injury to the occupant.
In one case, ARCCA was asked to review a crash in which a seat-belted utility van driver received fatal injuries in an otherwise survivable crash. ARCCA’s experts determined that at impact, a toolbox in the caged section of the van caused the cage to fail and crush the driver. ARCCA’s experts then determined that the “safety cage” was not properly designed and could not perform its intended function. ARCCA engineers developed an alternative design that would have protected the driver.