Nobody used to care about car safety, now it’s on all of our minds.
Over the last few years, there has been a growing interest in car safety. Technologies such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability management systems, have become more and more common and are now standard or available on almost every car sold in North America.
As with most other technologies, these safety systems were first introduced in higher-end models, eventually tricking down to more mainstream automobiles.
What makes a car safe?
There are two types of safety systems in every car. First, we have active safety systems. These devices are designed to get us out of trouble and avoid an accident in the first place. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability systems are active safety systems as they can help us before an accident even occurs.
The second type is known as passive safety systems. A passive safety system protects us once a vehicle has been engaged in an accident. These include airbags, seatbelts, and crumple zones.
Airbags, seatbelts and other passive safety systems must work together. Airbags, for example, do little to help you unless you’re wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts are considered the foundation of passive safety.
The root of a truly safe car lies in its structure and design. High-strength steel can reduce the chance of an impact intruding on the passenger compartment, reducing the chances of serious injury.
Smart design will distribute the energy from an impact around the passenger cell, rather than directly into it. The goal is to reduce the deformation of the passenger compartment. High strength steel is very effective at keeping the passenger compartment of an SUV intact during a rollover.
Most European companies such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Saab, Volvo, and Volkswagen, have been using high strength steel such as Boron for a while.
As car safety has become a selling feature, more manufacturers are adopting the use of Boron steel as it is much stronger than conventional steel and allows seatbelts, airbags and other passive safety devices to work more effectively.
Overall, a safe car is useless unless it is operated by a safe driver. No system, no matter how advanced, can compensate for an alert driver behind the wheel.