Crumple Zones Decrease Injuries From Collisions
March 11, 2016 | Personal Injury
Thanks to car safety innovations throughout the last fifty years, there has been a major increase in vehicular transportation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In terms of fatalities per miles driven, we have gone from 5.39 deaths per 100 million miles (1964) to 1.10 deaths per 100 million miles driven in 2013. Although there was a sharp increase in deaths last year in 2015, driving has become much safer than it was even a few decades ago. In addition to other car safety features such as seat belts and airbags, crumple zones are likely responsible for hundreds of thousands of lives saved over the years. However, driving is still one of the most dangerous activities we participate in on a regular basis. 2.3 million people suffer serious injuries in car accidents every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have been injured in a serious auto collision, do not hesitate to contact an experienced New York car accident attorney at once to discuss the legal options available to you.
Front End Crumple Zones Absorb the Impact by Deteriorating
While your first thought about the design of a car is that they are all made as durable and sturdy as possible, that is not actually the case. In fact, the principles that allow a crumple zone to function necessitate extra weak segments of frame in the front end, where most crumple zones are located (many vehicles also have rear or even side crumple zones as well). Weakened segments of the car are designed to deteriorate or deform in order to spread the force out and away from the occupants, and to decrease the force created in the crash. While the front end is designed to act like a spring, the inner cabin that holds the occupants is reinforced to withstand as much deformation as possible, for obvious reasons.
Slowing the Rate of Acceleration
There are two factors that are used to calculate the force in a car collision. They are mass (the weight of the car) and acceleration or deceleration (the rate at which it takes to go from, say, 60 miles per hour to zero, or, more precisely, the change in velocity divided by the change in time). To make things simpler, the take away is that if this discussion is that the longer it takes to come to a stop upon impact, the less force is created in the crash. A crumple zone may stop a car upon collision in 0.2 seconds as opposed to 0.1 seconds if the car, theoretically, did not have a crumple zone. In this scenario, the crumple zone would cut the force of the crash in half. Again, the easiest way to think of a crumple zone is to imagine a large spring on the front of your truck, van, car, or SUV, all of which are equipped with crumple zones if they were built after 1967.
Crumple zones obviously do not stop all injuries from a serious auto collision. If you or a loved one were injured in a bad crash, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today at 212-397-1000.