With accidents happening at such a high rate, 5.5 million annually according to the Federal Highway Administration, it is no wonder why vehicles have so many safety features these days. However, one of the most important pieces of safety technology was invented over half a century ago, and little has changed about it. Aside from seat belts, your car’s crumple zone is probably the most likely feature to save your life or prevent serious injury in a collision, especially if it is head-on. While some vehicles have rear and side crumple zones, all vehicles are equipped with a purposefully weakened front end that is designed to crumple on impact. The point of a crumple zone, or crush zone, is to minimize the force felt by the occupants of a vehicle in a collision. There are 2.3 million serious injuries and well over 30,000 fatalities on the roadways each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and there would certainly be
There are 2.3 million serious injuries and well over 30,000 fatalities on the roadways each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and there would certainly be many more without crumple zones. However, not matter how safe a person’s vehicle is, some accidents end in injury or death regardless. If you have been injured in an auto collision, or have had a family member pass away in an accident, contact an experienced California car accident attorney today to discuss your legal options for compensation.
Crumple Zones Are Designed With Your Safety in Mind, Not the Durability of the Vehicle
The front end of all vehicles are designed to break apart, or deform when confronted with a hard impact. While the outer frame is pre-weakened, the inner cabin that contains the passengers of the vehicle is reinforced to resist deformation. Some vehicles are even equipped with a cabin that is set upon a pair of tracks, allowing it to move forward or backwards on impact to reduce the sudden jolt felt by the occupants.
Crumple Zones Decrease the Force Felt in a Collision
As any high school student can reiterate – force equals mass times acceleration. What this means in terms of a collision is that the force of the impact felt is determinate of the weight of the car and the time it takes to come to a full stop. The weight of a car can be decreased, though this usually means that the occupants will be less safe than they would be otherwise since smaller vehicles fare worse in multiple-vehicle collisions. What can be changed is the time to decelerate, which is slim but substantial. Suppose a car takes 0.2 seconds to come to a complete stop from 60 miles per hour. The force created in that collision and felt by the occupants would be incredibly high. But, if the time to decelerate was increased with the use of a crumple zone to 0.4 seconds, the force created and felt by the occupants would be halved. Crumple zones slow down the rate of deceleration. An example of how this works is by comparing water and pavement. If a person jumped from the top of a 20-foot tree into the water, they would not be injured because the water slowed down their rate of deceleration. If they jumped onto the pavement, on the other hand, the result would, of course, be much different. Crumple zones actually work in one other way as well: not only do they decrease the total amount of force in a collision, they also dissipate the force away from the cabin and away from the occupants. If you have been injured in a car collision, your crumple zone likely lessened the impact, However, if you were injured, call The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers today to discuss your legal options with one of our experienced California car accident attorneys.