December 15, 2014, 9:54 am
The first car on the road didn’t have so much as a seatbelt when it came to safety. Nowadays there are literally hundreds of loops that manufacturers need to jump through in order to get their cars through to production. Every country varies, but anywhere in the EU there are strict rules and measurements that need to be met before a vehicle can be sold in this area.
So what exactly have manufacturers done to make their vehicles as safe as possible? Here are some old and new car safety features that help protect the occupants.
A lot of hard work and research has gone into making the seatbelt that we know today. The three point design helps to hold you in the seat by your lap and across your torso, which prevents you from being thrown around in the case of an accident. Having a strap across the chest helps to distribute the weight and can prevent internal injuries as a result of excessive squeezing force.
Modern cars simply won’t let you drive without a seatbelt on. They literally pester you to buckle up by having a loud beeping noise that just progressively increases in volume and pitch until you click the clasp into place.
Again, another safety feature that many people are aware of. However, you may be surprised to learn that some modern cars can have upwards of 12 airbags just for the front two passengers! Airbags don’t just stop you from hitting all the hard bits of the vehicle, there are also curtain airbags which work at preventing debris, like broken windows, from entering the car and causing additional damage to the passengers.
They may not seem like much, but a car’s headrests have a very important role in preventing your head from slamming backwards and giving you whiplash or worse. The majority of these are adjustable, so that they can be tailored for individual comfort and maximum performance in an incident.
You may not know this, but the headrest is also designed to be removed so that you can smash windows with the metal ends if you’re trapped in the vehicle. A very handy feature that, sadly, isn’t a very well-known fact.
Anti-lock braking systems are a very, very useful tool that can help to keep the driver in control at all time. This works to prevent your tyres from skidding and slipping when braking sharply – drastically reducing the time it takes to stop. By ensuring that the driver remains in control of the vehicle many accidents caused by skidding can be prevented.
Similar to ABS, this is a system that helps to prevent your vehicle from skidding. However, it works in the opposite way to ABS in that it is designed to stop wheels slipping during acceleration. This allows drivers to have a much more responsive vehicle when they need a quick burst of speed to escape a dangerous situation. This is useful when having to change direction quickly or stepping on the accelerator to get out of the way of another vehicle.
In the case of an accident, you may think that it’s best to have a really solid car that isn’t fazed by a collision. But this was actually the cause of many serious injuries back in the day. The problem here was that the vehicles would come to a much more sudden stop, while the people inside would still be traveling at the same velocity and therefore hit surfaces much harder.
Crumple zones were introduced as a way to slow the vehicle down gradually by having areas that are designed to crumple in contact. By doing this there is a massive distribution of impact, slowing down the movement of the entire vehicle and absorbing the kinetic energy of the collision.
This works in conjunction with the crumple zones to prevent the people in the vehicle from being harmed. This provides a strong cabin that works to keep its shape and ensure that things like the dashboard, steering column and roof pillars remain where they are and are not pushed into the cockpit of the vehicle.
While it may not protect you when out on the road, parking sensors make it much easier for even the worst parkers to squeeze into a space. This has undoubtedly stopped quite a few bumps and scrapes in car parks, good news for everyone!
In Europe and the UK, all vehicles have their safety measured against the Europe New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP). This looks at a wide variety of aspects of the vehicles and puts every vehicle through rigorous testing to ensure the results are correct. There is then a rating given on the vehicle’s overall safety, with a maximum of five stars available. The more stars the vehicle achieves, the safer it is deemed to be in the case of a collision.
How safe is your car? Check on Euroncap today and if you’re not happy with the results then come along and buy a new car at Nathaniel Cars today! Our wide range of stock will ensure that you always walk away with the right car for you.Back to News