Car Safety Design Evolution

A driver is 10 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle collision when driving a 30 years old car. Recent studies have taken a look into the evolution of car safety throughout the last several decades to determine just how much vehicle protection has developed. In the United States alone, auto fatalities have decreased by approximately 20 percent, a large portion of this reduction is attributed to the evolution of car safety design.

While records indicate that versions of automobiles have been built since the early 1800s, we will take a look at the development of car safety from a more modern perspective, taking note of the specific changes in the vehicles make and design that have contributed to motor vehicle fatalities as the safety measures inside and outside of the vehicle continue to increase.

  • 1958: Volvos seat belt forever changes car safety

  • 1960: The padded dashboard is introduced, greatly reducing injury severity in head on collisions

  • 1966: Anti-lock brakes are introduced, helping drivers to brake faster and more efficiently, especially in bad driving conditions

  • 1966: the establishment of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

  • 1968: NHTSA established first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the following requirements were made mandatory: side marker lights, collapsible steering columns, shoulder belt for front-seat occupants

  • 1969: Head restraints are now required, helping to reduce the number of whiplash injuries

  • 1974: GM introduces driver and passenger airbags, although much controversy circulates in regard to whether or not they cause more damage than good

  • 1979: NHTSA introduces crash-testing to the industry

  • 1984: Seat belt law passed in New York, requiring all passengers to wear seat belts, all 50 states would eventually pass this law, excluding New Hampshire

  • 1986: a third center brake light is made standard

  • 1994: crash tests are now required for all vehicles

  • 2003: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) begins crash testing

  • 2004: NHTSA begins testing SUVs to prevent rollover crashes

  • 2009: NHTSA makes advancements in roof-crush standard, crush load requirement increased

Car Allowance Rebate System

The above timeline demonstrates the vast strides that the auto industry has taken over the years to we support car safety programs in the hopes that the number of auto accidents and fatalities in Arizona, Utah, California, and across the country will decrease.

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