Car Safety Physics
Problem to be solved Keep the occupants safe One of the main objectives of trying to keep the occupants safe is to keep them all inside the vehicle at all times. The vehicle must not have open spaces that an occupant can fall out of in case of an accident. If gaps in the vehicle are unavoidable or inevitable then a safety-belt or inertial-belt would be required to keep the occupants in place inside the vehicle. Try to make the occupants change velocity in the same way as the car does
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An inertial-belt is used to keep the occupant moving at the same velocity as the car at all times therefore preventing them from moving with their own inertia and sharing it with the car. Cushion the surfaces of the passenger compartment Airbags are used to cushion blows or impacts with the car for occupants in case of accidents. There are also no or barely any sharp edges inside a car that can harm occupants in the event of an accident.
Keep the passenger compartment rigid, so that it does not fold in on the occupants Roll-bars and other body reinforcement techniques are used to prevent the car from crushing the occupants and to reduce the damage done to the car. Increase the time for the impulse to take place Most make use of the crumple-zone safety feature of cars to help reduce the time for impulse to take place on the car’s occupants and therefore reducing injury. Try to keep the car from rolling over
Tyres are used to prevent body roll just as much as they are used to initially prevent accidents from occurring so in essence they play an important role in the prevention of harm in case of an accident. Head restraints It isn’t common to find a safety feature which keeps your head restrained at all times however in case of accidents, airbags are used to help reduce whiplash and a collapsible steering column are used to prevent the driver or occupants from getting harmed by the steering wheel.
Ensure that the braking system is effective (ABS and Disc brakes) There are some clever braking systems that are designed to help increase the effectiveness of braking. ABS for example is a braking system which makes the car’s brakes release at intervals to prevent them from locking up completely which will cause the car to lose traction and therefore take longer to eventually come to a resting position.