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What is Vehicle Crashworthiness?

By: Anapol Weiss

Crashworthiness refers to the level of vehicle occupant protection intended to reduce the risk of death and serious injury in the event of an automobile accident. If you were involved in a car wreck, speak to an experienced car accident lawyer today.

To continually enhance driver and passenger safety, research programs develop and upgrade test procedures for vehicle design, safety countermeasures, and equipment. Below are a few important aspects of vehicle safety that are involved in crashworthiness development and research.

Front and Rear Seat Safety

Recent developments in front restraints and vehicle crashworthiness have greatly increased driver and front passenger protection. However, rear-seat passengers have not received the same benefits, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Administration is currently investigating technologies to improve safety for those in the back seat when a crash occurs.

Preventing Rollovers

The NHTSA has found that vehicle rollovers have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes. While all vehicles can roll, SUVs, pickups, and vans – which are taller and narrower – are more susceptible to a rollover. Car manufacturers can reduce rollover risk by making important design changes to lower a vehicle’s center of gravity.

Child Safety

Data have shown that vehicle crashes are the primary cause of death for children aged four and older. As a result, child vehicle safety has been a huge concern for many years. Research continues to develop and improve the protection of child occupants, particularly through child restraint systems.

Seatbelts and Airbags

When a vehicle is involved in a crash, airbags and seatbelts play a major role in protecting drivers and passengers against serious injury. Many newer cars come equipped with airbags for front-seat and rear-seat occupants as well as airbags for side protection. Seatbelts have also been greatly improved in order to better restrain vehicle occupants during a collision.

Design Defects that Lead to Death and Injury

Breakthroughs in crashworthiness research only go as far as a vehicle’s design and manufacture – safety features must work properly and consistently in order to protect drivers and passengers. A design or manufacturing defect can result in occupant deaths and catastrophic injuries.

Contact our firm for assistance if you suspect your vehicle failed to protect you in an auto accident. Our team has decades of experience and success obtaining justice for victims injured as a result of automotive defects.