Is your car the safest place to be in an accident?

Winter 2017 has been particularly brutal for drivers throughout the country. While many are accustomed to traveling in inclimate conditions, others are discovering the challenges on snowy and ice roads for the first time. Weather-related accidents are on the rise and drivers are doing everything they can to protect themselves from injuries.

Their first line of defense is their cars. The assumption exists that older automobiles were sturdier and stood up better to accidents. Many claim that the material used to manufacturer today’s vehicles puts drivers at risk. That sense of nostalgia is misguided.

Decades ago, automobile manufacturers focused on the car surviving the crash. Vehicles were made with the body on the frame construction. Today, frames that are part of the cars and better protect the drivers and passengers in a crash. Simply stated, the entire car provides protection, not just the frame.

Crush zones move, displace and absorb the energy, keeping it away from the occupants. Slowing the collision by mere milliseconds reduces the force because it occurs over a longer period of time.

Those changes can mean the difference between accidents leading to minor injuries and those resulting in fatalities.

However, with innovations come increased costs in repair cars, even vehicles that suffered minor damage. Bumpers that are now designed to bend will suffer damage following the smallest impact.

Because of innovations, accidents have dropped since the 1970s. In addition, improved seat belt usage (and laws that require them) keep people where they should be. Combined with effective and better designed airbags, more drivers are surviving what could have been catastrophic accidents.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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