How Has Car Safety Improved?

February 8, 2022
Delco Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Recover from Their Injuries.

Any driver who has been involved in a car accident will tell you that there are a lot of needed safety improvements in cars.

Car accidents happen every day, all over the world, and despite safety improvements, there are personal injuries and deaths every year with those accidents. However, there are far fewer injuries and deaths, given the number of vehicles on the road and the number of car accidents, and this is being attributed to improved vehicle safety.

In 2019 in the United States, there were almost seven million car accidents, resulting in 36,096 deaths over the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation.  The loss of 36,096 lives in a year lost to driving accidents is awful and impacts the families and loved ones of the deceased for decades to come, but the number of lives lost could be much higher if modern safety devices were not introduced and made standard in today’s cars.

The impact of these safety devices, seat belts and airbags, for example, is clearly shown when road accident statistics from 2019 are compared with those of 1960, the earliest that auto accident data is available. For every 100 million miles driven:

  • In 1960: The number of deaths was 5.1.
  • In 2019: The number of deaths was 1.1.

To put it into perspective, in that 59-year stretch, the percentage of deadly car accidents per 100 million miles dropped by 78 percent.

Safety Means More than Seat Belts Now

Merging technological advances with automobile manufacture has become more prevalent over the past decade, resulting in a lot of changes in the way people drive.

Front airbags, electronic stability control, seat belts, and child safety systems are required items in all new vehicles now, and side-curtain airbags are becoming standard, although they are not yet required by law.

Features such as side-curtain airbags undoubtedly will reduce serious injuries and fatalities from side-impact collisions, which are often referred to as T-bone crashes. This is especially helpful for passengers in the back seat, which is the least protected space in most vehicles.

However, there are many safety advances that auto manufacturers are now including that are likely to not just protect the people inside vehicles from the brunt of a collision but also prevent the collision from happening. These include:

  • Backup cameras. These prevent back-over accidents or parking collisions. The system relies on a camera and uses sensors to guide the driver when the vehicle is too close to the person, vehicle, animal, or object.
  • Lane departure warning.  Cameras near the rearview mirror keep track of the vehicle’s position in a lane and provide warnings such as a vibration in the seat or steering wheel and a noise when the vehicle is unintentionally leaving a lane, such as moving into another lane without signaling first. Some systems will prevent an unintentional lane departure with light steering and/or braking.
  • Blind spot detection.  This is a system that will visually and audibly alert the driver when vehicles are traveling in the driver’s blind spot. The alerts will become brighter and louder when the driver is changing lanes with vehicles in the blind spot. Some systems might activate steering or braking controls to prevent collisions.

Delco Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Recover from Their Injuries

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, reach out to the Delco car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our legal team understands Pennsylvania car accident laws and have trial-tested experience in all kinds of automobile accidents. We will be your advocate and fight to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.