How Car Safety has evolved Overtime

How car safety has evolved overtime

In this article, we will discuss how Car Safety has evolved Over the course. In the past, from safety belts for seats from seat belts to Electronic Stability Control, car safety has improved dramatically since the first cars were created in the 18th century.

Safety for cars can be as ancient as the automobile itself. The first fatality recorded in automobiles occurred in 1869, when Mary Ward, an Anglo-Irish scientist, died after falling beneath the wheels of an experimental steam vehicle constructed by her cousins. The incident likely caused authorities to implement road and vehicle security measures to safeguard not just drivers but also pedestrians.

The History of Car Safety: A Timeline

The Ford Model T was declared the first low-cost American automobile that was simple to drive and could reach speeds of 40 or 45 miles an hour (mph).

While top rates in certain motor vehicles of this time can exceed 100 mph, a crash with a car travelling at 45 mph and not equipped with anti-lock brakes, sturdy structures, or seat belts can cause death. Ontario MTO notes that more than 1,000 accidents in 2009 involved vehicles with no safety devices.

Safety in the automobile has made significant strides. Here is a list of essential changes implemented to safeguard passengers and drivers over the years.

  • 1930 Safety glass is made an integral part of all Ford automobiles.
  • 1934 General Motors conduct the first crash test
  • 1935 Canada created 1935 the Department of Transport
  • 1937 Many automakers add smooth, flat dash, round door handles, and a windshield washer to their vehicles, along with additional cushioning for the rear of the front seats to provide better protection for passengers in the backseat.
  • 1949 Chrysler incorporates disc brakes in their Crown Imperial
  • In 1958 United Nations established the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, which helps develop a common set of rules for the safety of vehicles, theft and rules for environmental protection, and much more.
  • 1958 1958 Three-Point Seat Belt was invented and is integral to all Volvo automobiles.
  • 1959 Headrests are now an option for front seats
  • 1964 – Cars that are sold on or after 1st January 1st must have front lap belts on the outside of the car throughout the United States
  • 1964 Volvo introduces the world’s first rear-facing child car seat
  • 1971 Canada introduces the motor safety of vehicles act to establish safety standards for the design, development and importation of motor vehicles.
  • 1974 General Motors begins to offer airbags as an option for certain cars.
  • 1976 Ontario is the first province in the world to require the requirement of a seat belt
  • 1979 1979: The United States National Highway Transportation Safety Administration starts crash-testing popular cars and publishes the outcomes.

How Car Safety Features Have Evolved Over The Years

How car safety features have evolved over the years

In the past 135 years of cars, safety features have changed drastically to make the roads one of the most secure modes of transport.

A series of innovations in car safety throughout the years has saved the lives of many. Here are a few technological breakthroughs that have transformed the notion of security in the car.

Seat Belts Arrived In 1958

While seat belts were created and patent-protected before 1998, the most efficient version we are seeing today wasn’t invented until 1958. British engineer George Cayley developed the first seat belt in the latter part of 1800 to secure pilots in their gliders.

But the first seat belt designed for automobiles was invented in the late 1800s by Edward J. Claghorn of America, who developed it to secure taxi drivers.

The seat wasn’t considered to be “crucial until 1954. Some scientists recognized the importance of belts in seats during tests of their effectiveness. They were able to prove their opinions became a reality when they were incorporated into the Sports Car Club of America required the inclusion of seat belts in each racing automobile.

The real change in design and technology for seat belts and the widespread use of seat belts in cars was initiated by Volvo. It was in 1958 that Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin created a new and more efficient three-point belt still in use.

Volvo recognized the significance of using a belt, engaged Bohlin to continue developing the technology, and fitted its cars with three-point seat belts. Volvo also published an estimate in 2002 that showed seat belts saved more than a million people since they were introduced.

Airbags Arrived In 1951

Following seat belts, the most crucial safety feature to be found included airbags. It shielded the passengers and drivers from head-on collisions and side-impact crashes.

The first basic designs of airbags were developed in 1951 by German Walter Linderer and American John Hetrick 1951. Walter Linderer’s airbag was built on compressed air that was released following a crash on the bumper or manually removed from the vehicle’s driver. John Hetrick’s airbag was inspired by the same system that he dubbed “Safety Cushion Assembly for Automobile Vehicles.’

Anti Lock Braking System (ABS) – 1978

In addition to collisions, slippery and wet roads were also a problem for drivers of cars. The lock brakes of the old system did not work well at stopping the car under these conditions.

Drivers generally lose control of the vehicle. ABS was developed to answer this issue, and Mercedes-Benz is undoubtedly the first in this area. ABS ABS permits the wheels of the car to slow down their rotation when under severe brakes, allowing the driver to move the vehicle with steering.

Daimler created this system to keep wheels from sliding in 1953. This resulted in the development of the Mercedes-Benz/Teldix Anti-Block Systems in 1966, which the German firm developed together with Teldix built on an electro-hydraulic brake system.

On the opposite side of the globe, Chrysler also worked with Bendix to create a “Sure Brake” technology unveiled in 1971. In the same year, an American car maker, Ford, introduced a single-channel system version.

It was later which was followed by General Motors’ Trackmaster. Similar efforts were made within Japan through Toyota along with Nissan.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – 1980

Oversteering could be as fatal as understeering. Drivers are susceptible to oversteering in stressful situations, which leads to total loss of control of the vehicle and fatal accidents.

BMW was the first to recognize the tendency of drivers to oversteer and designed an engine management system which lowered the torque when a stability issue was identified. It was the initial model of ESC.

By reducing the torque, the ESC reduced the slip angle and slowed the vehicle’s spin. In the wake of BMW, Mercedes launched its ESC using its sophisticated ABS and created it into Electronic Traction Control (ETC) and Acceleration Skid Control (ASC). In addition, a more sophisticated variant of ESC was created by Toyota under the name of Vehicle Stability Control System (VSC).

FAQ About How Car Safety has evolved Overtime


What was the evolution of the car over time?

Benz’s first car was three-wheeled, shaped like an elongated tricycle. It also seated two people. Gas-powered four-wheeled vehicles were made available in 1891. The development of the gas-powered car marked the start of the vehicle’s story in America

What’s the most significant impact on safety in the auto industry?

With all the safety features and road enhancements, the driver’s behaviour significantly influences road safety. Proper use of safety belts, car seats and other seats, defensive driving methods and impaired awareness of the road can dramatically improve road safety.

What safety features did the initial car come with?

In 1908, features such as the windshield, headlights and speedometer were added as optional features in the most popular automobile on the road that year, the Ford Model T.

The first car to feature regular security glass (employing lamination to make sure the glass did not break into tiny fragments that were contained instead of shattering into large dangerous shreds).

Are vehicles safer than they were 20 years ago?

The fatality rate in car accidents has decreased significantly in the last two decades. (In the US, the fatalities for every 100 million miles travelled decreased by 1.73 from 1994 to 1.08 in 2014.) However, structural improvements and upgrades to new technologies such as airbags only save a few lives.

Are the latest cars safer?

The latest cars are indeed safer than older models. Modern technology and better structures make the latest models ideal for your family. NHTSA statistics show that fatality rates rise for those who drive older cars