Vehicle Safety Features
Safety features have come a long way since archaic braking systems of turn of the century automobiles. Although today’s cars look smaller and are mainly lighter, they are now safer than ever.
From tires to child restraint systems, vehicle manufacturers are constantly improving the safety of vehicles. Tires aren’t just rubber full of air. Steel belted with radial plies, to reduce friction and wear as well as to provide traction, there is a lot of technology in today’s tires. Cars also come with tire pressure monitoring systems, vehicles will alert you when a tire is not at the proper inflation. The system will advise if the pressure is too high or too low, which can not only save excess wear on a tire, it can also help avoid a serious driving hazard which could cause an accident.
Headlights are also not just designed to add a little light. Headlights are designed to direct their light in the appropriate direction, and can’t aim too high or too low, and are made in high end intensities, to be as powerful and efficient as possible, such as high intensity headlamps.
Seat belts are manufactured with woven polyester and nylon able to withstand breaking up to 6,000 pounds. Common passenger car seatbelts are a three point system two points on the hip, and one on the shoulder, with pretension, that tightens automatically at abrupt stops. Even though the seatbelt feels lose when it is around you, it will tighten. Vehicles are also designed to accommodate child seats, anchor and latch systems are now standard issue on passenger cars, with universal design to fit any child safety seat.
Air bags aren’t only in the steering wheel anymore. There are airbags on the front passenger side, and rear passengers are also protected. There are now bags that are deployed on the side to protect against head injuries as well. There are actually even some motorcycles manufactured with airbags.
Brakes aren’t just made to stop a car, they must stop a car and allow the driver to retain control. With non-antilock brakes, when a driver applies to the brakes as hard as possible they can skid and lose control. Antilock brakes allow a driver to apply full pressure to the brakes and allow steering and control of the vehicle, you don’t have to “pump” the brakes to keep control.
Although today’s cars are lighter in weight and seem to be made of weaker materials, they are strategically engineered to absorb impact damage energy. In the front of a vehicle materials are used to absorb impact while protecting the interior occupants of the vehicle. A modern 3,000 pound vehicle, can actually withstand the impact of an older 50’s 5,000 pound car.
Nowadays cars aren’t just speed and style, either by government mandate, or by the will of the manufacturer, they are safer than ever. Technology and engineering wins out over sheer size.