The declining number of fatalities and serious injuries per mile traveled is thanks to a lot of factors. For one, vehicles are safer now than they were decades ago. One of the most important safety features of any vehicle is the crumple zone, which was invented in 1952 and is now used in all vehicles. The crumple zone helps decrease the force the occupants are subjected to in a collision by slowing the rate of deceleration. While 2.3 million car accident victims suffer serious injuries every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of injuries would certainly be much higher if crumple zones were not used.
A Crumple Zone is a Pre-Weakened Exterior Frame
A crumple zone is essentially part of the front end frame that is designed to crumple or be crushed in a front on collision. Crumple zones are also present in the rear and even at the sides of some vehicles as well, but all vehicles have front end crumple zones. While the crumple zone is designed to deteriorate or deform in an accident, the inner cabin that contains the occupants is designed to be extra rigid in order to avoid deformation.
Slower Crashes Are Less Traumatic, and So Too Are Slower Rates of Deceleration
You may be wondering how something that is designed to be weak could actually be a safety advancement. Crumple zones work by absorbing the force of the accident and distributing that shock wave of force away from the occupants of the vehicle. They also work in an even more important way than redistributing the force: crumple zones actually decrease the force created in a crash. Force equals mass times acceleration, and by decreasing the acceleration, force can also be decreased. However, in this scenario it is actually time to stop that we are worried about, which is deceleration, which acts the same in the formula. By increasing the time to stop the vehicle while it collides and crumples, the force can be decreased. If it takes twice as long for the car to come to a stop from the front end crumpling and slowing at a longer rate, the force is also halved. Another way to imagine the physics of how a crumple zone works is to picture jumping from a tree onto grass as opposed to pavement. The grass “gives” way while the pavement does not. You actually take longer to slow down by landing on the grass than by landing on the pavement, where the landing and deceleration is extremely abrupt. The force you experience is less by landing on grass or by being in a car collision with a crumple zone.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a collision you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. This compensation can help pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. If the collision was no fault of yours, contact one of our experienced car accident attorneys today at 858-350-8855 with the law offices of Berman & Riedel, LLP.