Crashworthiness is the science of preventing or reducing the severity of injuries suffered in a car crash. This is accomplished through safety devices and technology, better materials used in car manufacture, and improved design of the car itself. The crashworthiness of a car is evaluated using computer modeling, car testing, and post accident analysis.
The components and systems used to improve a car’s crashworthiness include:
- Seat belts and airbags. These work together to restrain and protect the vehicle occupant from impacting the interior surfaces of the car during an accident.
- Crumple zones. A crumple zone absorbs the energy of an impact and redirects its forces away from the car occupants.
- Windshields and windows. Laminated windshields do not shatter and minimize glass injury to the front seat occupants. The other windows are made of tempered glass that does not shatter into sharp fragments.
- Passenger survival space. The passenger space is surrounded by a cage of high strength materials. Anti-intrusion bars are also used to protect passengers from side impacts.
- Steering column. The steering column is engineered to minimize the risk of driver impalement during an accident. The steering column is protected by a crumple zone and is collapsible. The steering wheel airbag also serves to protect the driver from the steering column.
- Reinforced roof. The vehicle’s roof must have sufficient strength to prevent its collapse during a rollover.
- Fire reduction. The gas tank is designed and placed in a safe location within the car frame so that it will not catch on fire or explode in a collision.
While improvements in the crashworthiness of cars over the past several decades have saved many lives and prevented needless injury, vehicle defects persist to this day. These happen because of material defects, incorrect installation in the car, improper component manufacture, and design mistakes. These defects either injure passengers in accidents where injury should not have occurred, or they increase an injury’s severity beyond what is normal for the type of accident.
In short, vehicles with these defects are less than crashworthy and are a danger to the public. If you have suffered from an injury because of a defect in your car, talk to a San Clemente car accident lawyer. The lawyers at Silverthorne Attorneys understand the factors that make a motor vehicle unsafe and will help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.