When Henry Ford built the first models of cars over a century ago, there were almost no safety features on his automobiles. Contrast that with the amazing new features you’ll read about below.
Fast forward ahead 60 years and the cars were still nothing more than metal coffins. In crashes, passengers were hurtled about without restraint into the dashboard or right out the front window. Certainly insurance companies and manufacturers needed to respond.
With quick advances in design, manufacturing technology and materials, today’s automobiles offer outstanding passenger protection. Some models are better than others so when you buy your next new car, it’s important to review its crash test ratings. You may want to ensure you have the maximum in protective devices possible in your vehicle. You and your family’s lives are on the line.
Check out this rare Consumer Reports video of a crash between a 1959 Chevy and a 2009 Chevy. Which do you think will fare better? The big heavy metal car or the sleek modern car?
The above test clearly shows how passenger car injury protection has evolved, but there’s much more than meets the eye. The technology going into new vehicles is amazing.
If you’re not up on the latest vehicle safety features, take a look at our top 7 car safety features for 2013.
1. Electronic stability control. This technology grew out of the development of anti-lock brakes (ABS). ESC helps the driver maintain control of the car on curves and slippery conditions by varying braking pressure in each of the car’s wheel brakes. It has an outstanding record for preventing single-vehicle crashes. It’s cut crashes by 50% and fatal rollovers by 80%. That’s impressive.
2. Seat belts. The first seat belts in cars were nothing more loosely strung ropes that barely restrained the driver. Today’s better restraint systems automatically remove slack in the belt. And they come in harness designs that distribute impact over the body of the individual to help reduce internal injuries.
3. Crash Avoidance Systems. This amazing new technology employs sensors to either warn drivers of an impending collision or actively and automatically take preventive action. Such systems are becoming so advanced that they can prepower the brakes and adjust the passenger seats and seat belts for impact.
4. Air bags. Some vehicles on the market have 10 or more airbags situated throughout the passenger cabin. They protect passengers from impact from almost any direction. New features include knee level air bags to protect front passengers legs in a collision and foam and head air bags above the side doors.
5. Collapsible Steering Wheel. The driver is the most injured passenger in a crash and the steering column and wheel represents a major impact threat. Upon impact the steering column will collapse so that it does not injure the driver.
6. Child Safety Seats. Booster seats do not come with new automobiles however they are available and represent a huge improvement in protection for children. The seats are engineered to maintain their structure on impact and not whip around on impact.
7. Head Restraint. Rear-end collisions are deadly as are side angle collisions. There’s a rear end accident every 17 seconds in the US. Head and neck whiplash are serious injuries that car makers have finally gotten around to addressing. They’re positioning headrests properly in both directions on the seat. The headrest itself is designed with proper materials to absorb the force of impact of your head.
The technology in new cars may be lowering your insurance rates. Of course your rates are complex calculation of many risk factors. If you feel you’re paying too much for your car insurance, why not give us a call or get a car insurance quote from us online?