The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted its first crash tests of several convertibles and has awarded the Volvo C70 as one of their 'Top Safety Picks'. The Volvo C70 arrived in the U.S. market in 2006 and has set the benchmark for convertible safety in regards to occupant protection with a number of safety systems, including the unique Inflatable Curtain for side impact protection, the use of multiple grades of steel for frontal and rear collisions, and Volvo's Roll Over Protection System (ROPS). Safety Inside The C70 comes standard with Volvo's newest addition to side impact protection, the Inflatable Curtain (IC) "As there are no roof members to which the curtain can be attached it is mounted in the door," noted Ingrid Skogsmo, Director of Safety, Volvo Car Corporation. "When activated it is directed upwards." The curtain has an extra stiff construction with double rows of slats that are slightly offset from each other. This allows them to remain upright and offer effective head protection even with the window open. The curtain also deflates slowly to provide protection should the car roll over. This is a unique solution in the automotive world. In addition to the inflatable curtain, the passengers in the front seat have side impact airbags, the size of which is adapted to cover both the chest and hip areas. The inflatable curtain interacts with the seat belt pretensioners to help provide maximum protection for the front seat occupants in a side impact or a rollover accident. All four seats are equipped with pretensioners. The Volvo system for avoiding neck injuries - WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) - is one of the most effective on the market and is also standard in the all-new Volvo C70. In the event of a powerful rear-end collision the backrests and head restraints in the front seats follow the movements of the seat occupant's body. The three-piece steering column is designed to pivot up and collapse away from the driver through the use of a pyrotechnically charged separation bolt. This helps to better position the air bag deployment process for pending contact with driver. All four seating positions feature pyrotechnically pretensioned seat belts with a spool-out function. Not only will this new system help restrain the user, it allows for slower forward acceleration of the human body. Safety Outside First seen on the Volvo S40 sport sedan, the C70 continues the use of utilizing different grades of steel to helps control impact energy in the event of a collision. The C70 has a unique front energy absorbing structure that uses three additional grades of steel aside from the regular bodywork steel: High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel. When combined in different structural elements, the C70 maintains excellent low- and high-speed deformation as witnessed by the Institutes' frontal crash testing. The all-new Volvo C70 is designed to provide effective protection in the event of a rear-end collision as well. The rear longitudinal members deform in a controlled way. They are linked to the body sills to distribute the collision forces forward into the body structure. A large horseshoe-shaped member behind the rear seats and a double metal wall behind the backrests contribute to reducing the risk of intrusion into the passenger compartment. If the top is stowed in the down position, it works together with the double wall to absorb the collision forces. The Rollover Protection System (ROPS) popup bars are also pushed upwards in the event of a rear-end collision. The aim is to reduce the risk of the passengers being hit by flying objects from the car behind.