Have you ever witnessed an auto accident in which one or more cars was so badly damaged that you just knew it had to be fatal, only to learn later that the passengers sustained only minor injuries.
Well, that happens a lot these days, and there’s a simple reason why…
Modern automobiles are designed to crumple up like an accordion when they’re hit.
Of course that makes it more likely that the repair costs will be higher or the car will be totaled, but that’s actually a good thing. The reason why will become apparent shortly.
Modern vehicles are designed to have “crumple zones” built into their front and rear sections.
In most types of crashes those crumple zones absorb the bulk of the impact from a crash.
That prevents the passengers inside the vehicle from having to absorb the impact with their bodies and sustain serious injuries.
When a vehicle strikes a solid object (another vehicle or a tree for example), everything inside that vehicle comes to a violent stop as well.
The huge and massive vehicles of years past were built like tanks with heavy sheet metal body parts that gave very little when struck by another large object.
That heavy and strong construction made the vehicles themselves more resistant to serious damage when they crashed, but the passengers weren’t so lucky because they received much of the impact from the crash.
The crumpling hoods, fenders and trunks of modern vehicles absorb most of the impact, resulting in fewer serious injuries and fatalities than in times past.
Bottom line: The next time you’re waved past a wrecked car and see that it’s crumpled up like an accordion, be thankful that the car sustained all that damage because it probably kept the people inside from getting hurt as bad as they would have just a few years ago.
Sadly, people still get seriously injured and killed in car crashes, but the odds of that happening are quite a bit lower than they were when cars were built like tanks.
Want to learn more about how modern vehicles are designed to be safer than older ones? Check out the short video below.
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon in the lower right-hand corner of the video.