200 milliseconds of your life - accident research at Saab

What actually is time? What are 200 milliseconds - and how important are they for your life? For your survival? The accident researchers at Saab asked themselves this question in 1996. 200 milliseconds could be crucial. About life and death. And about whether you survive an accident healthy or whether damage remains for the rest of your life.

The car manufacturers in Trollhättan had security written in their DNA. They began analyzing accidents early on, evaluating the real traffic situations. The Saab 9000 already had a safety cell at a time when, apart from Mercedes and Volvo, hardly anyone thought of it.

200 milliseconds of your life. Accident research at Saab.
200 milliseconds of your life. Accident research at Saab.

Saab and accident research

That had consequences. For many years the 9000 series was the safest car in Sweden, maybe even the safest in the whole world. In Trollhättan they continuously worked on improving the concepts and incorporated them into the series. A film was made about it in 1996.

200 milliseconds in 9 minutes

From the decisive period in which an accident happens, these important 200 milliseconds, they actually made around 9 minutes at Saab.

However, none of them get boring, because the narrator in the background explains millisecond by millisecond what is going on.

A Saab 9000 CC, already replaced by the 9000 CS at this point, is spectacularly dropped onto the ground from a fourth floor. And scrapped more than one vehicle over the course of the film. Then takes on the entire product range, because Saab 4 CS and 9000 NG are also allowed to drive against the wall.

The fact that a complex film was shot with the 1996 in 9000 is remarkable. At that time he was already out of date and his career was coming to an end. Behind the scenes, the Saab 9-5 is already doing its rounds, which will be better and safer.

The safety cell of the 9000 CS is expanded into a cage on the 9-5, which brings a significant improvement.

Apparently the old 9000 is enough for the makers of the film, it's still the safest car in the country.

What is left at the end of the post? One is impressed by the accident research at Saab. It is of course a bit sad that this great company no longer exists. But secretly happy that you drive a Saab and have a good feeling about it. Because the products had good DNA, and even with old cars, safety is not an afterthought.

3 thoughts on "200 milliseconds of your life - accident research at Saab"

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    Swedish steel

    The Swedes were damn good at steel, iron and cast iron. They seem to have had it in their blood or ingested it with their mother's milk...

    And today? Statistics would be interesting. I could bet that in S the proportion of people in the population who can cast, forge, bend, peen and weld is still significantly higher than in D.

    No wonder they were the first to pioneer the stability of the passenger cell and intelligent deformation of impact zones at the engineering level.

    The stability has always been there. They couldn't help themselves. After seatbelts and headrests, only controlled deformation remained to take occupant protection to the next level.

    And controlled at that time also meant that the cars were not totaled if this was not necessary for occupant protection.

    To my knowledge, the bumpers of the 9000 still hold the record for the highest impact speed that a vehicle has ever survived completely unscathed.

    Today, all possible and impossible cars easily get 4 to 5 stars in crash tests, which you only have to look at wrongly to cause a total economic loss even with a new car. That has absolutely nothing in common with the holistic approach of the Saab engineers at the time.

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    It is still unclear why Swedish politicians left the manufacturer out in the cold almost 10 years ago - in France, for example, such a failure would be highly unlikely.

    When it comes to safety in particular, you can see that SAAB automobiles are among the jewels in automotive engineering, along with many other positive features.

    We drive our two favorites (9-3 Cabrio, built in 2001 and 9-3 Bio Power, built in 2011) as long as possible!

  • blank

    Pretty impressive. 200 ms to almost 10 minutes - that's something. What an effort SAAB drove back then, that's completely crazy. It's Mercedes style. It was clear that these cars had to be extremely safe.

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