Automobile safety involves implementation of design, equipment, construction and regulation to minimize the occurrence and effects of traffic accidents. Early studies about automobile safety were carried out at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory that is based in New York. His studies explained the essence of padded dashboards and seat belts. However, the primary cause of traffic related deaths was due to excess mass or speeding and not the pedestrian’s fault. In fact, statistics from the United States showed that a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes, this being almost double the chance of an occupant of a vehicle being injured. Again, work related roadway crushes are the leading cause of injuries in the U.S., truck drivers making the majority of these.
Automotive safety can be of two types: active and passive. Active safety is the technology assisting in the prevention of a crash. They include vehicles headlamps, reflectors, mirrors, brakes, steering and suspension systems. Passive safety, on the other hand, refers to components of the vehicle. Such components include airbags, seatbelts and the physical structure of the body.
There are subsets of crash avoidance systems, which help the driver to detect obstacles and control the vehicle. Driver Alertness Detection system, otherwise known as DADS, is installed to ensure that crashes resulting from fatigue are eliminated. Automatic braking is a crucial component to reduce the severity of collision, while infrared night vision systems were used to see objects beyond the headlamp range. Adaptive headlamps are designed to control the direction and range of the headlight beams, thus enhances the diver’s vision without blinding other motorists. Other devices used include the reverse backup detectors to alert drivers to be aware of objects in their way when reversing, traction control systems that restore grip if driven wheels begin to spin, adaptive cruise control to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and the electronic stability control, which helps to deter an impending loss of control. Some vehicles may have a backup camera, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock braking system, pre-crash system and an automated parking system.