The Science Behind Car Safety – Innovations that Protect You
Over the years many new technologies and ideas have changed the way we use our cars. The number one priority for most new vehicle buyers is undoubtedly safety. Today we’re going to explore some of the safety innovations that revolutionised our vehicles, as well as examining a few specific circumstances.
Seatbelts were first introduced in the 1930s but it wasn’t until the 1950s when they became more widespread. In 1970 front driver and passenger seatbelts became mandatory for vehicle manufacturing in Australia.
The modern seat belt or lap/sash, was first seen in 1959 while the first inertia-reel seat belt – which was adjustable and locked during rapid breaking – was introduced in 1963.
The first ever airbag – which was only for the driver – was introduced in a Mercedes Benz model in 1981. Modern airbags can deploy in less than one second and often feature front, side, curtain and knee airbags.
Blind Spot and Pedestrian Detection Technology
In 2004 Volvo first launched a Blind Spot Information System which assists drivers with lane changes to avoid collisions. The system combines reversing cameras and motion sensors.
In 2011, pedestrian detection technology was also released by Volvo. Working on similar principles and using auto brake technology, this system can stop your car at low speeds when a pedestrian is detected and you have failed to stop.
The Science Behind Whiplash
Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are forced into a rapid backwards-forwards movement, usually when a stopped vehicle is hit from behind.
Whiplash can present through a range of symptoms, including:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Limb weakness
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
Whiplash can also lead to associated disorders and symptoms including depression, and insomnia.
A high-quality and properly adjusted headrest is the best way to prevent whiplash. Your headrest should be level with or above your head and should be 5cm from the back of your head. Other factors that can help to reduce whiplash include:
- Your seat – positioned at less than a 20 degree angle
- Your seatbelt – wear your seatbelt properly at all times
- Front and curtain airbags – these can help to cushion your impact
The Science Behind Child Car Seats
There are more than 200 different kinds of front facing, rear facing and booster seats to protect children in the car. Properly securing your children in an approved seat for both their age and size is essential to greater safety on the road.
Here is a general guide for child safety seating:
- Up to six months – use an approved rear facing seat
- 6 months to 4 years – use an approved rear or forward facing seat
- 4+ years – use an approved forward facing seat or a booster seat
- 145cm or taller – minimum recommended height for lap-sash seat belts
Discussions about child car seats are always ongoing and looking to improve. For more information about your child’s best car seat, explore these FAQs and visit an authorised restraint fitting station to ensure your seat is properly fitted.
Whilst modern technology continues to make driving safer, unfortunately accidents still happen. At Stacks Goudkamp our personal injury lawyers are experienced in motor vehicle compensation claims. If you have been hurt or have lost a loved one in an accident on the road, be sure to get the help you need. Telephone our friendly lawyers on 1800 25 1800 for a free no obligation consultation, or make an online enquiry.