There are also myriad other features lurking in a car's bodywork that can do more damage than the accident. Rescuers need to make sure they don't cut the pressurized gas canisters that would inflate an airbag, or the battery cables in a hybrid. Once in the car, they need to make sure they don't do something that will make the airbag suddenly go off if it hasn't already. It has meant that rescuers first need to peel back the car's shell to see what's beneath before they begin digging out the passengers.
All this has added time to the rescue effort, which might mean the difference between staying here or checking out the hereafter. It's also ballooned budgets, as crews need to buy the equipment they need to get the job done. Maybe carmakers should start making the tools necessary to break their cars open in an accident. The Jaguar Jaws of Life, anyone? Thanks for the tip, JaysonAych!