The Evolution of Car Safety In The United States

Crash test dummy

Modern-day vehicles are equipped with safety devices that most drivers and passengers believe to be commonplace. It is hard to imagine that just several decades ago not all vehicles were equipped with seatbelts or were Bluetooth enabled to allow drivers to navigate their electronic devices more easily.

The evolution of car safety has allowed drivers and passengers to feel safer while in a vehicle and sometimes even during a car accident. Overall the rate of car accident fatalities throughout the United States has decreased by 20 percent and the percentage of Americans who use a seatbelt is at an all-time high.

Unfortunately, car collisions and injuries are still a commonplace occurrence. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation there were more than 281,000 car crashes through the entire state. Additionally, in 2012 the state conducted a statistical observational survey on seatbelt usage an approximately 93% those surveyed were wearing their seatbelts which is an all-time high for Illinois but still posits the question of why not everyone uses this safety device.

Although car safety has made several advancements throughout the years, car accident injuries are still possible. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a careless driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages and more.

For a free evaluation of your accident claim, fill out the contact form to your right –it’s strictly confidential.

Car Safety Evolution Timeline

Since the days of the first buggy, safety has been a concern all riders and as vehicles evolved safety was a concern for drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and even pedestrians. The following is a timeline of car safety developments throughout history.

1922 – The first four-wheel hydraulic brakes are installed on the Duesenburg Model A

1930 – All Ford vehicles come equipped with safety glass

1934 – General Motors performs the first barrier crash test

1936 – Hudson Terraplane invents the first back-up brake, if the hydraulic brakes failed a set of mechanical brakes in the back wheels would activate

1937- Four auto manufacturers, Chrysler, Plymouth, DeSoto, and Dodge, add various features to their vehicles to provide better protection to backseat passengers. Features include rounded door handles, additional padding to the back of the front seat, and a flat, smooth dash

1947 – The American Tucker is the first vehicle equipped with a padded dashboard

1949 – Chrylser Crown Imperial is the first vehicle to come equipped with disc brakes

1958 – The United Nations established the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations in an effort to advance auto safety measures

1959 – American Motors Corporation offers headrests as an option for front seats

1959 – Volvo introduces the 3-point, or Y-Shaped, seatbelts that are now standard in all vehicles today

1964 – Front outboard lap belts are now required on all new passenger cars sold after January 1st

1964 – Volvo introduces the rear-facing child seat

1966 – The United States Department of Transportation is established

1968 – Shoulder belts for front-seat vehicle occupants, side marker lights, and collapsible steering columns become required

1974 – GM begins to offer airbags in certain models

1984 – New York passes the first every seatbelt law

Since then vehicles have become equipped with many more airbags and stronger vehicle columns and government agencies began and continue to perform crash tests and publish their results to inform the public of a vehicle’s safety. As with advancements in technology the laws, such as banning texting and driving, have changed in an effort to keep motorists safe.

Hurt In A Crash? Contact our Auto Accident Attorneys Today

Despite the advancements in car safety, some drivers fail to follow the rules of road and their negligence oft leads to serious car collisions. If you or a loved one has been injured in an car accident by a careless driver and are seeking legal counsel, our attorneys are here to help.

At the law offices of Tapella and Eberspacher we are dedicated to helping accident injury victims fight for the MAXIMUM amount of compensation they deserve. We can help guide you through the entire litigation process t ensure that you recover comfortably and completely from your injuries.

We have several offices located throughout Illinois and proudly serve the following areas:

  • Carbondale
  • O’Fallon
  • Decatur
  • Champaign
  • Coles County
  • …and many more.

We are also pleased to help personal injury victims in the St. Louis Missouri area. For more information on your legal rights and for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your claim, contact us today at (217) 394-5885.

If you would prefer to contact us online, fill out the contact form – it’s FREE to submit and strictly confidential.