Modern Vehicle Safety and You
Ralph Nader’s book ‘Unsafe At Any Speed’ set a precedent for all automakers domestic and foreign. The 1st generation Chevrolet Corvair was found to be highly unstable in hard turns and emergency stops. Once the word got out all carmakers started taking vehicle safety very seriously. Without a doubt, modern-day vehicles are better equipped to keep occupants safe. What brought us to this point is a combination of events, federal intervention, and technology.
-Ralph Nader, Public outrage, and federal mandates-
The automakers had been slowly adding things like padded dashes, seat belts (still optional at the time), and bigger brakes thru the 1950s. yet vehicle stability in emergency situations was not a priority. Yet public advocate Ralph Nader saw that the automakers were lax and even egregious in making customer safety a high priority. Once the federal government saw that oversight was needed to ensure public safety things began to change for the better. The National Traffic and Safety Board (NTSB) was created to monitor crash testing. 5-mph bumpers showed up by 1973 along with steering wheels that bent in an impact. Seat belts were made mandatory as well. yet our cars and trucks were still very heavy and not at all fuel efficient.
-Modern-day versus current day safety standards-
As cars of the 1980s and 1990s were built with lightweight materials (to help increase gas mileage) safety innovation became even more important. Crashlab, located in New Zealand, did an amazing experiment comparing a 1998 Toyota Corolla versus a 2015 model Corolla. They crashed both vehicles head-on into one another. The results are spectacular. We would expect a car built in the late 1990s to hold up pretty well. Yet the results showed otherwise. It’s both frightening and amazing to see how far things have come just in 20 years time.
-Vehicle safety and the future-
The 21st century has seen a large technological jump in materials. There have been tests and studies into using different materials for chassis and body parts. Aluminum has become the hot word in the automotive world. With more vehicles being built of aluminum YouCar conducted a test between steel and aluminum F-150 trucks. While aluminum is lightweight it did hold up better at a 10mph hit than the steel did. Furthermore, the increased use of carbon fiber lightens vehicles. This keeps fuel economy high even as extra strength can be added to crucial areas of construction.
Chrysler has made occupant safety a premium objective for decades now and continues to do so today. Our vehicles are class-leading, innovative and intelligent with regards to your security on the road. As we move forward the level of sophistication in safety features is bound to boggle the mind. That is why our staff at Zimmer CDJR is here to answer your questions and allay any concerns you may have. We want you to be secure in your confidence about your family’s safety in our vehicles.