Have Auto Safety Devices Helped Occupant Safety? - O'Connor Acciani & Levy

Have Auto Safety Devices Helped Occupant Safety?

May 15, 2013 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
Have Auto Safety Devices Helped Occupant Safety?

The evolution of auto safety has been rapid, impressive and is poised for continued improvements. Although car crashes are the #1 cause of injury-related death across the globe, the fatality rate per million miles traveled has dropped to 1.1 from more than 7 when data was first collected by the National Center for Health Statistics in 1950. In fact, the innovations made by automakers and suggestions from safety agencies since the automobile began mass production in 1903 can be credited with this significant decrease in fatality rates. Did you know that nearly 450,000 persons involved in Ohio auto accidents in 2011 walked away with no injuries while wearing a 3-point seat belt, while accident victims protected by front and side airbags had more than 85% fewer fatal injuries, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety? Unfortunately, not every driver prioritizes safety, and many accidents have occurred due to missing, inadequate or improperly functioning car safety features. Have you been injured in an auto accident despite utilizing the protective safety devices in your vehicle? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help recover any costs associated with the incident, including property damage, medical expenses and lost wages. To learn more about your legal rights and options today, contact the auto accident lawyers at O'Connor, Acciani & Levy today by simply filling out the Free Case Evaluation form to your right or by calling our legal team at (877) 288-3241.

History Of Auto Safety Features

Auto safety ratings are now paramount when shopping for a new car, and many new models may come with exclusive safety features that cant be found in other vehicles. This is quite a difference from early vehicles that did not have had safety equipment. Some interesting facts about the history of safety devices in automobiles include:
  • Ford made safety glass standard in all models in 1930, nearly 3 decades after the launch of the motor company
  • GM performed the first barrier crash test in 1934
  • Chrysler was the first to offer standard disc brakes, beginning with the 1949 Crown Imperial
  • Volvo patented the 3-point seat belt in 1958
  • 1964 was the year that front outboard lap belts became required in the U.S.
  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) was established in 1966
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was founded in 1970
  • NHTSA began publishing the crash test results of a variety of vehicles in 1979
Remarkably, the first design for an airbag pre-dates the debut of the Ford Motor Company, one of the most notable revolutions in American history. Throughout the years since the inception of the motor vehicle, new safety equipment has been invented, designed, tested and implemented. Even today, safety innovations appear in the auto industry each year.

Modern Car Safety Features

The safety devices found in an automobile are classified as active or passive. Active safety systems include technology used to aid in crash prevention, whereas passive safety refers to those components of the vehicle that help in protecting an occupant in the event of a collision. There has been much advancement in both active and passive vehicle safety in recent years. Some commonly found car safety features include:
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Air bags
  • Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS)
  • Auto-dim mirrors
  • Backup sensors and cameras
  • Blind spot detection functions
  • Body enhancements, e.g. roll cages, crumple zones
  • Daytime running lights
  • Electronic stability control
  • Emergency brake assist
  • Energy absorbing steering
  • Forward collision warning systems
  • Head restraints (headrests)
  • Heads up display
  • Laminated glass
  • Lane departure warning mechanisms
  • Seat belts
  • Tire pressure monitoring devices
  • Traction control
These are just a few of the safety features that are currently available in modern vehicles. With each passing model year, Americans can look forward to new advances in automotive safety. For instance, 2013 saw the introduction of a passenger-protecting airbag system.

Defective Safety Devices

Manufacturers of vehicles and the safety devices equipped in vehicles are often forced to issue recalls for defective safety equipment, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Any type of mistake made in the manufacturing process can degrade the functioning of a vehicle or one of its essential systems, including safety devices. These defects can cause accidents that end in devastating injuries or even death, or even cause an injury without an accident taking place, as one may be injured by an airbag that deploys without a collision occurring. If you or someone you love has been injured due to defective automobiles or vehicle equipment, the victim may be eligible for compensation. Our product liability attorneys can help determine whether you have a claim.

Need Help? Contact Our Law Firm Today

Despite the strides that have been made in the realm of automotive safety, more than 10 accidents occur each minute across the United States. Over 250 are killed or injured every hour. Some of these accidents could have been prevented if the safety equipment in a vehicle had been functioning correctly. If you suffered injuries that could have been prevented or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision due to an unsafe vehicle, you may be eligible to pursue compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The personal injury attorneys at O'Connor, Acciani & Levy can help you get justice. We know your legal issues are a serious matter, and we treat every case with professionalism, and every client with the courtesy each deserves. We proudly serve clients in the following areas through our 7 offices located in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, including:
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Covington, KY
and many surrounding communities. Find out what our legal expertise can do for you. Call (877) 288-3241 today to discuss the details of your case.