Ever since the hand-cranks on the earliest cars were snapping back and breaking people’s wrists, people have been looking for ways to make cars a little safer. Considering the automobile is a relatively young invention, we’ve really come a long way in terms of safety features. Curtain airbags, electronic stability control, parking sensors and a host of other things are now standard in a lot of models. Here, we’ll look at some of the reasons why cars are now safer than they’ve ever been.
One of the main things that makes modern cars so safe is that they’re designed to crash. No, I don’t mean the steering goes the wrong way and the brakes are purposefully not connected. Modern car makers are now using a variety of different materials and steel in order to make a car’s frame properly distribute the force of a crash and protect the passengers from harm. your standard hatchback made in 2016 will now contain five different grades of steel, along with lightweight aluminum. The softer metals are used on the exterior of a car, and become gradually harder through the crush zone, maxing out in the passenger cell. This aims to control the violent energy of a collision, and keep the people inside safe.
Another big reason why modern cars are so much safer is that we have better facilities for crashing them into stuff! Every car you see on the market today has been rigorously tested against all kinds of hypothetical collisions, and the tech for doing this has only become more and more sophisticated. As I write, modern car companies are driving their models at high speed into various barriers, and filming the results in ultra-slow-motion. This shows them how the car fares during rollovers, T-bones, small overlap and front collisions. These are just a few of the theoretical accidents that car manufacturers are able to test and take measures against. As the tech involved becomes more sophisticated, car designs are only going to be tweaked and improved for added safety.
Finally, vehicles are becoming smarter by the day. Sure, crash tests have always been very important and always will be. However, a lot of modern safety research is focused on the fairly young niche of active accident avoidance. The amount of smart tech in some modern cars is truly revolutionary, and has made life a little more complicated for the average car accident lawyer. Automatic braking and steering has been popping up in auto journals for some time now. Now, we’re seeing massive leaps forward in the autonomous driving niche. Nissan has claimed that it will be able to export totally autonomous cars by the year 2020. Audi have also been working on their own piloted driving system, which is able to handle highway driving, is expected to be released somewhere in the next five years. When the nut behind the wheel is replaced by a sophisticated computer, our roads are expected to become a lot safer.
Although car accidents are still a major concern, these developments have saved and will save countless lives.