Automobile accidents are almost as old as automobiles
themselves. Joseph Cugnot crashed his steam-powered "Fardier"
against a wall in 1771. One of the earliest recorded automobile fatalities
was Mary Ward, on 1869-08-31 in Parsons town, Ireland,
an early victim in the United States was Henry Bliss on 1899-09-13 in
New York City, NY.
Cars have two basic safety problems:
They have human drivers who make mistakes, and the wheels lose traction
near a half gravity of deceleration. Automated control has been
seriously proposed and successfully prototyped. Shoulder-belted
passengers could tolerate a 32G emergency stop (reducing the safe
inter vehicle gap 64-fold) if high-speed roads incorporated a steel
rail for emergency braking. Both safety modifications of the roadway
are thought to be too expensive by most funding authorities, although
these modifications could dramatically increase the number of vehicles
that could safely use a high-speed highway.
In response to increasing public concern about
automobile safety, many manufacturers are designing vehicles that
incorporate crash protection and safety features beyond the minimum
Federal standards. Key questions to ask when looking to buy a safer
What features does this vehicle
have that will help you avoid a crash? For example, does this
vehicle have electronic stability control (ESC)?
How well does this vehicle protect you
during a crash? Does this vehicle have side air bag (SAB)
head protection technology?
What is the likelihood of this vehicle
rolling over in a single-vehicle crash?
What other types of advanced safety features
does this vehicle have?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) is the agency of the Department of Transportation that conducts
crash tests of new vehicles to determine the level of protection for
drivers and passengers during frontal and side impact crashes. NHTSA
also conducts rollover tests to determine the likelihood of a vehicle
rolling over if involved in a single-vehicle crash.
An airbag, also known as a Supplementary/Secondary
Restraint System (SRS) or as an Air Cushion Restraint System
(ACRS), is a lithe covering or shroud, inflatable to hold air
or some other gas. Air bags are most frequently used for cushioning,
specifically after very quick inflation in the case of an automobile
collision. Read more....
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