You’re probably investigating which vehicle safety features are the most trustworthy for your child’s first car, who is nearly of age to get their driver’s license. In all honesty, there isn’t any safety technology that will completely prevent the possibility for injury in a car accident. Since the introduction of the car, driving safety has continued to improve, due to a variety of elements, from car safety features, improved roadways and better traffic safety.
When new safety technology is implemented into new vehicles and proves to be particularly efficient in reducing the severe injuries during car crashes, car makers will incorporate them into all of their models. Some of these new features will become legally mandated in all cars, even if they were once features we would only see in luxury vehicles with higher price tags. Despite the fact that driving is much more dangerous without these features, we don’t even realize their benefits. Still, even with such improved car safety features, accidents can and will happen and remain one of the top reasons why people sustain injuries while driving.
The most important thing to remember is that when an accident occurs advice from a legal expert is advised. It’s best to seek an accident lawyers free consultation, because there is nothing to lose in receiving legal guidance in how to tackle a legal claim when involved in a car accident, whether you caused it or another driver did.
Some of the Top Car Safety Features
It’s difficult to know if the latest, cutting-edge safety measures will transform automotive safety or whether something else will take its place. While certain safety advances will get notable press coverage, years later, they make nostalgia lists and do not age gracefully.
The following are safety technologies that remain as mainstays even today:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that seat belts top this list of safety features, as this one measure alone has saved more lives in car crashes than any other device. Before seat belts were adopted in all vehicles, the death rate from accidents was dangerously high. Interestingly, the seat belt was invented before the vehicle was. British inventor George Cayley designed the first iteration of the seat belt in 1849 and was made for a glider, which was a precursor to the aircraft. The NHTSA, short for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was established by the federal government in 1966, and one of its first moves was to make seat belts required in all cars. Most front and rear seat belts now include a lap belt as well as a shoulder harness, but in the 1980s, we saw cars with automated shoulder harnesses. This feature was quickly phased out since it led to drivers forgetting or refusing to secure their lap belts, which are more effective at protecting the driver and passengers from harm. In fact, in the year 2017, nearly 48 percent of the over 37,000 people who died in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts. Furthermore, in that same year, nearly 15,000 people’s lives were saved by wearing a seatbelt.
Shatter-resistant glass is now common on windshields and windows in vehicles. Thanks to the glass being laminated with a film that prevents the glass from shattering into sharp fragments, significant injury from glass breaking in an accident is greatly reduced. When the glass is broken, it shatters into small pellets without sharp edges.
Although car bumpers are usually taken for granted and are not considered a safety element by most, there was a period when automobiles did not have them, making cars not as safe as the modern day vehicle. Even a little jolt to the car’s body might result in significant damage, as well as injury to the occupants. You can credit your car’s bumpers if you’ve ever been into a small “fender bender” and it caused little damage, if any at all.
A car without mirrors would be quite dangerous to drive, so this one is a no-brainer. Many times, the at-fault motorist in an accident may claim that they did not see the other person in their mirrors. If you can show that they might have, in fact, seen you if their car mirrors were correctly positioned, the driver may be held responsible for the accident. Consider how difficult driving would be if your vehicle lacked mirrors.
When a vehicle’s sensors detect a collision, airbags will inflate to soften the impact and avoid a significant injury from someone hitting the windshield or another part of the car’s interior, such as the steering wheel. Chrysler began installing airbags in all of its car models in the late 1980s, but at the time, they were thought of as a fad. Little did they know, they were onto something. Car makers would eventually update their views on where to install airbags in order to give optimum protection while posing no extra risks. The widespread use of airbags is one of the key reasons why all states have regulations requiring babies and young children to travel in rear-facing car seats until they reach a certain age or height. Airbags have saved tens of thousands of lives since their adoption.
Pre-Crash Technological Advancements
In recent years, new car models have begun to feature both standard or optional systems that will warn drivers of the dangers of approaching collisions. This allows a driver to respond earlier in order to avoid being involved in an accident. So far, many of these features have yet to become standard in automobiles, although they are all quite popular. Some features include automatic emergency braking, forward collision warnings, and adaptive cruise control, all of which have been shown to be useful in avoiding accidents. However, technologies such as lane centering features and front cross-traffic warnings were not.
What Happens When Safety Features Actually Result in Harm?
Accident-proofing an automobile is impossible, no matter how well-designed it is. In a vehicle collision, the possibility of being critically hurt is always present. If your injuries have been elevated as a result of an automobile safety feature, you may be able to file a product liability case against the car maker. Still, if the car’s features performed as they were designed to, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the motorist who caused the collision.