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How do cars keep us safe?

In the winter, car accidents occur far more frequently. This is particularly true in states that receive a substantial amount of snow and ice. Oftentimes, these brutal wrecks completely obliterate the vehicle. However, drivers and passengers inside can survive in spite of the dismal state of the vehicle. This has led many to ponder the question, "how do our cars keep us safe?"

Why are cars safer now?

Certainly, safety features like airbags, combined with more drivers and passengers wearing seatbelts, has contributed to the decrease. However, the construction of vehicles plays a role, as well.

Decades ago, manufacturers implemented design features that would ensure the vehicle would survive a wreck. However, the focus of today's manufacturers is to design cars that will keep the driver and any passengers safe in the event of an accident.

Vehicle framework designed for protection

In the past, manufacturers made vehicles with the body placed on the frame construction. However, now, the frame is a part of the vehicle. In older model vehicles, the frame served to protect individuals. Now, the entire car serves as protection for drivers and passengers. Manufacturers design vehicles so that they break on the outside in a wreck. This means individuals are seated in the most protected part of the vehicle. Crush zones around the vehicle displace, absorb, and move energy from an impact. That way, the driver and passengers won't be subject to the force and energy.

Not only do crush zones help deal with the energy associated with a crash, but they can also slow down the crash. Slowing down a crash by a few milliseconds can make a major difference. The vehicle will be impacted at the same velocity. However, the force the driver and passengers are subjected to won't be as great because the crush zones have slowed down the crash.

Injuries and fatalities still too frequent

The change in focus from protecting the vehicle to the safety of the drivers and passengers is why it costs more to fix a vehicle that seems to have suffered minor damage. A vehicle's metal backers and foam pieces behind the bumpers are designed to bend. Therefore, even a small accident will damage these parts.

Also, of course, the design of a vehicle can only do so much, particularly if another driver is acting recklessly, driving drunk or otherwise endangering others. While vehicles today are designed to withstand a crash with the driver and passenger in mind, serious injuries and fatalities are still far too common.

In a personal injury lawsuit, car accident victims can get compensation for medical costs, lost wages, damage to the vehicle and other costs. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for more information.

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