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May 12, 2007

Can Volvo Save Lives?

6crash1_md I visited Volvo of Orange County , California this week,  one of our certified female friendly dealerships and met with Joel Dalbo ,General Manager. He was still reeling and angry about the deaths of three young children in a horrific car accident that lived in his neighborhood.

Excerpt Orange County Register:

"Funeral services are scheduled today for three children, killed Friday May 5, 2007, when a big-rig slammed into the back of the family's minivan on the southbound Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway north of Oso Parkway.
"Friday, innocence was taken," Pastor Steve Wright stated. But "remember, love is greater still than death."

The three Coble kids were in the back of the minivan, strapped into car seats and booster seats. Mother Lori Coble, 30, was driving. Grandmother Cynthia Maestri was in the front passenger seat. On Saturday, Lori Coble and Maestri were in fair condition at Mission Hospital.

It was there, Friday night, that Kyle passed away in his mother's arms, a few hours after his siblings died. He had just turned 5 on Thursday. Neighbor Brad Tanner recalled him as a sweet boy who loved playing baseball.

Twelve-year-old Hanna Lesinski remembered helping Emma, 4, plan her birthday princess party just a couple weeks ago. "She wanted to look just like Cinderella," Hanna recalled."

Ap_crushed_volvo_1 "Volvo does not make minivans for a reason", Joel Dalbo, GM Volvo of Orange County, stated, " the panel doors on minivans may be a convenience, but they just fold up and collapse in  rear end collisions like this one. Families really need to understand better the safety features of the vehicles they are driving, if they had been in a Volvo , maybe they would have survived. The Volvo cage design and construction is built to protect the passengers in a collision like this one."

I share Joel's pain as my children's father was killed in an car accident many years ago leaving me a single parent to raise three children and my own son is a paraplegic as a result of an auto accident.  Safety features when purchasing a family vehicle and the practice of safe driving skills need to be a priority to prevent these tragic accidents.

It’s a common opinion stated by women who own Volvos that they love their cars because they feel so safe in them. The “Volvo Saved My Life Club” recognizes owners who share another belief: that their Volvo saved their lives. The site shares the stories of several families who have been in accidents while driving their Volvo, illustrated by audio narration and photos of their crushed cars as testament to their safety and good fortune to walk away from their accident without serious injuries.

From surprise impacts by other careless drivers, to head-on collisions with commercial trucks caused by frantic dogs, the common thread expressed by the narrators of these stories repeats over and over “If it hadn’t been for my Volvo, I would have been dead.”

While the site exclaims they are very proud of the “Volvo Saved My Life Club,” Volvo says they hope for the day when potentially fatal car accidents will be a thing of the past. Until then, their site expresses this heartfelt wish and advice: Drive safely.

If you believe that your vehicle helped save your life or the lives of a family member in an accident, share your own story with us by sending it to We’d also love to hear your stories!

Resources like the United Spinal Associations MotorSafe program and the National Highway Transportation and Safety of America website and making sure you install and purchase a child car seat correctly can also help you make better car buying decisions and learn more about how to avoid a tragedy like this in your family.

My heart goes out to the Coble family today and will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jody_devere_v71 Jody DeVere

Research for the article provided by Brandy Schaffels
Contributing Editor -

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