With the invention of seat belts and society’s slowly transformed attitude towards using them, millions of lives have been saved over the years. Similarly, hundreds of thousands of lives are saved every year by another crucial piece of car safety technology: the crumple zone. The rate of fatalities and injuries per mile driven have declined over the years due to these two, as well as other, advancements in safety. Despite the long way we have come over the decades, in the 5.5 million car accidents that occur annually, 2.3 million people become seriously injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A Less Rigid Front End Leads to More Car Damage But Higher Safety For Occupants
Modern vehicles are not designed to stand up to collisions. In fact, they are designed to fold under the pressure of a crash. Crumple zones work by crumpling or being crushed, which absorbs the force of the impact. Pre-weakened outside framing is designed to give way, while the inner cabin, where the occupants sit, is reinforced to be extra rigid in order to resist deformation. This directs the force of the impact away from the cabin while preserving the integrity of that crucial space in which we reside.
By Increasing the Time of Acceleration, the Force of the Crash is Reduced
The design of a crumple zone (creating an extra weak frame in the front) may seem counterintuitive when at first thought, it would seem like the stronger the point of impact the better. However, if you recall some high school physics, you may remember that force equals mass times acceleration. The force is the shock of the crash resulting in injury to the occupants, mass is the weight of the vehicle (in this scenario only one vehicle is present in the crash), and acceleration is actually the deceleration that the vehicle undergoes when coming to a stop when hitting an object front-on. If acceleration can be decreased (or deceleration time increased), the force of the impact will be less. So in the scenario that a vehicle hits a telephone pole, it may take 0.2 seconds after impact for the car to come to a complete stop. If the car is outfitted with a crumple zone, as every modern vehicle is, it may increase that time to stop by as much as two times, meaning that it now takes 0.4 seconds to stop and half the force is created. An even easier way to think about this is that a crumple zone is akin to having a giant cushion on the front of your vehicle to absorb the shock.
Contact an Experienced Cincinnati Car Accident Attorney Today
Despite the amazing technological advancements in safety, accidents still cause serious injuries and death. If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the law offices of Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today for a free consultation. You may be owed compensation to help pay for your medical and property damage, as well as pain and suffering.