From the development of the first car at the turn of the 20th century to the year 1973, vehicle-related deaths steadily climbed to a staggering 54,000 people a year. To combat these statistics, new vehicle safety measures have been introduced, that have gradually made cars much safer. Here are some of the most notable changes in vehicle safety over the years.
While it’s almost impossible to imagine a car without seatbelts, from 1899 until the 1940s, cars had few if any safety features. Back then, manufacturers focused more on making their cars fast and dependable, while safety took a backseat (no pun intended). Seatbelts were one of the first safety measures that car manufacturers implemented. Nash was the first major car manufacturer to offer seatbelts in 1949, followed by Ford in 1955. In 1968, the United States became the first country to require that all new cars be fitted with seatbelts.
Although the airbag might seem like a new development, manufactures began experimenting with them as early as the 1950s. The idea of an inflating cushion that protects the driver and passengers during a collision is simple, but it wasn’t widely available in vehicles until the early 1990s. Ford was one of the pioneers of this new technology, along with Mercedes Benz, and carried some of the earliest models that offered airbags.
3. Anti-Lock Brakes
Anti-lock brakes were first developed in 1929, for use in airplanes. However, anti-lock brake systems weren’t implemented in cars for many years. Ford was one of the first automobile companies to utilize anti-lock brakes on their experimental model, the Zodiac. The Chrysler imperial was one of the first cars to implement anti-lock brakes, which are now a standard feature on almost every car available.
4. Driver Alert Systems
In an effort to reduce collisions caused by drowsy and fatigued drivers, manufacturers have recently developed Driver Alert Systems. These systems utilize cameras to detect when a driver is drifting between lanes, or is making erratic decisions. While Ford has adopted this system in many models, it isn’t yet a requirement on vehicles.
These are some of the biggest changes to vehicle safety over the years–who knows what the future will bring? Before buying a new car, be sure to research the dealerships inspection procedures. Auto stores like Woody Sander Ford preform comprehensive inspections before selling their vehicles. These are some of the biggest changes to vehicle safety over the years–who knows what the future will bring? With self-driving cars already being tested worldwide, it will be interesting to see how safety requirements change in the future.