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The Evolution of Automotive Safety and Passive Safety

There have been revolutionary changes in car safety over the years. These changes have been made possible by constant innovation and a strong desire to keep people safe on the road.

Car safety has a history. It goes from simple starts to cutting-edge improvements. It shows how creative people can be. And, it shows how determined we are to make all transportation safer for everyone.

This article takes you on a trip through time to show how automobile safety has changed over time and to point out the major technological advancements that have changed the way we think about vehicle safety.

We will also explore the safest vehicles by rating.

The beginning and passive safety features

Passive safety measures are an important part of car design because they protect people inside the car in an accident or crash.

Passive safety features are meant to reduce the seriousness of injuries during a crash. They do this by absorbing and then releasing kinetic energy.

This is different from active safety systems, which try to prevent accidents from happening. Let’s have a look at some important new developments in passive safety technology:

1. Safety belts

Seat belts have saved many lives since they were first introduced. They are one of the most important safety improvements in cars.

While seat belts were first thought of in the early 1900s, they became standard equipment in cars in the 1960s. These simple but useful safety feature keep the people inside the car from being thrown out during a crash. This greatly lowers the risk of major injury or death.

2. Airbags

Airbags are a revolutionary new development in passive safety. They add another layer of protection in case of a crash.

Airbags were first used in the 1970s. They have gone from being simple devices to complex systems. They deploy quickly when a crash occurs. This protects people inside from the impact.

Today, airbags are built into many parts of the car, like the dashboard, steering wheel, side panels, and even seat belts. They protect the whole body in frontal, side, and rear accidents.

3. Crumple zones

Crumple zones are also called deformation zones. These are constructed parts of a structure that are meant to receive and release kinetic energy during an impact.

If a car hits something, crumple zones help protect the people inside by carefully deforming and moving the force away from them.

In frontal and rear-end accidents, this new design greatly reduces the chance of injury. It makes the cars safer and better protects the people inside.

4. Strong materials

Modern cars are stronger and more durable, thanks to progress in the science of materials. Better steels, aluminum alloys, and composite materials are examples of high-strength materials that are also light.

This lets car companies make cars that are lighter, stronger, and better able to handle the energy exerted during a crash. Using these materials to build cars can make them safer when accidents happen.

Top picks for 2024

Now that we’ve discussed the evolutions of automotive safety, let’s take a look at the vehicles with the best passive safety features.

Here are our Top picks for 2024

1. Small Cars:

Hyundai Elantra: The 2024 Hyundai Elantra has been awarded the Top Safety Pick designation by the IIHS, indicating that it meets stringent criteria for crash prevention.

The Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan is a commendable choice for those seeking a vehicle with robust passive safety features. It comes equipped with advanced seatbelt pretensioners, a comprehensive airbag system, and crumple zones that effectively absorb impact energy. A great all-rounder in the small cars category.

Subaru Impreza 4-door:The 2024 Subaru Impreza 4-door stands out as a top pick for passive safety. Awarded the Top Safety Pick designation, it features cutting-edge safety belts, a full array of airbags, and meticulously engineered crumple zones.

The Impreza’s reinforced frame construction with high-tensile steel ensures the durability and integrity of the passenger compartment.

2. Mid-Size Cars:

Honda Accord: The Accord’s passive safety features include advanced airbag systems, strong body construction with crumple zones designed to absorb impact energy, and seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters that help reduce the risk of injury in a collision. These features, combined with a high-quality interior and user-friendly technology, make the 2024 Honda Accord an excellent choice for those prioritizing safety.

Hyundai Ioniq 6: Another Top Safety Pick+ recipient, the Ioniq 6 offers robust passive and active safety features. On top of it, this Ioniq 6 has been recognized for its pedestrian protection capabilities.

3. Large Luxury Cars:

BMW 5 Series: An outstanding option in large luxury cars in 2024 is BMW 5 Series. While it’s a midsize luxury car, it offers exceptional safety features and has also earned the Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS. It includes comprehensive passive safety features such as reinforced body structures and sophisticated airbag systems designed to provide maximum protection

Genesis G80: Also a Top Safety Pick+, the G80 is lauded for its suite of safety technologies, including advanced airbag systems and high-strength materials.

4. SUVs:

Genesis GV80: It stands out with its impressive safety ratings and a host of new equipment that enhances its passive safety features. So, it could be an ideal SUV for you in terms of advanced passive safety features.

Kia Telluride: Offers a generous set of standard features, and its top trim provides a premium experience with robust safety elements.

5. Minivans:

Toyota Sienna: Named a Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS, it’s equipped with a comprehensive set of airbags and advanced safety features designed to offer protection from multiple angles during a collision.

Honda Odyssey: A Top Safety Pick+, the Odyssey is recognized for its solid construction and extensive safety systems.

6. Pickups:

Ram 1500: It’s not only a leader in comfort and technology but also in safety. The Ram 1500 has been recognized for its superior crash test performance and includes advanced passive safety features like robust airbag systems, high-strength steel frame construction, and specially designed crumple zones to absorb impact.

Final Verdict

These vehicles not only meet but often exceed the stringent safety standards set by automotive safety organizations, making them excellent choices for their respective categories. Remember, while passive safety features are crucial, active safety features and responsible driving habits are equally important for overall safety on the road. We are going to explore the active safety feature in our next article so keep an eye out and stay updated.

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