Crash Dynamics

Crash Dynamics

During a motor vehicle crash, three collisions happen:
The Vehicle Collision. This is what happens at the point of impact, whether it comes from the front, back or side. The vehicle begins stopping as soon as it collides with an object such as another vehicle, wall or tree.

The Human Collision. At the moment of impact (whether you are driving or not), you will be moving at the same speed as the car. If you are unbelted, whatever is in front of you (ie. steering wheel, windshield, front seat, another person, etc.) will stop you from moving. The human collision is the one that causes injury.

The Human Body’s Internal Collision. Even after you have come to a complete stop, your internal organs continue moving forward. Suddenly, these organs collide with other organs. This collision can cause considerable and potentially fatal injury.

With any of these collisions, you and your passengers have the best chance of reducing or avoiding injury if everyone is buckled up.

Is the car you are renting in other parts of the world as safe as those rented in the US?

Buy a new passenger vehicle in the U.S., European Union, Australia or other developed country and one can expect a relatively high level of safety, but that’s not the case in emerging markets. About a third of new vehicles sold worldwide fall short of the basic frontal crash protection provided by models sold in these high-income regions.
As the focus in the United States shifts to technology to prevent crashes altogether, and even replace drivers with autonomous vehicles, some developing nations are just beginning to address the fundamental safety protections that are standard here.

Missing from many vehicles built for the burgeoning middle class in markets such as Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico are strong occupant compartments that won’t collapse in a crash and crumple zones to absorb crash energy. Frontal airbags for the driver and front passenger — standard on U.S. vehicles since 1999 — are typically optional equipment. Without strong government safety regulations, automakers, including the big U.S., Japanese and European manufacturers, can sell cars in emerging markets that aren’t as safe as ones they sell in industrialized countries. At the same time, consumers may not realize that their vehicles won’t protect them in crashes as well as the same or similar models sold in other parts of the world because their countries don’t have crash test programs for consumer information.

In the U.S., selling vehicles without basic safety equipment would be unthinkable today. But not so long ago, many automakers resisted efforts by IIHS and other groups to get airbags and other safety improvements in cars. By the late 1980s, however, manufacturers began to tout safety features as a way to distinguish themselves from competitors. The switch was due in large part to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) pioneering New Car Assessment Program, which launched in 1978 and helped give rise to the safety marketplace that took root in the 1980s . In turn, U.S. NCAP inspired other crash test programs in Australia, Europe and Japan.
ASEAN NCAP is testing a second group of vehicles, including
SUVs and minivans, and eventually plans to introduce a side test.

The chances of dying in a crash vary across the globe

About 1.2 million people die in road crashes worldwide each year, and pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists account for about half of the deaths. In developing nations, this group makes up a larger percentage of deaths because a much higher proportion of road users are pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicyclists than in high-income countries. Less than 35 percent of developing countries have highway safety laws to protect pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists, the World Health Organization says.

For vehicle occupants, crashworthy cars with good restraint systems are key to reducing deaths and injuries, but vehicle-based strategies don’t address the entire problem. Better road infrastructure and adoption and enforcement of laws that address preventable deaths and injuries also are needed. Only 28 countries, representing 7 percent of the world’s population, have comprehensive national laws to address five key risk factors, WHO (World Health Organization) estimates. These include laws on speeding, alcohol impaired driving, safety belt use in front and rear seats, child restraint use and motorcycle helmets for all riders.

Source: World Health Organization

In the U.S., 32,367
Estimated traffic deaths per 100,000 people

Canada – 7Sweden – 3Russia – 19
United States – 11U.K. – 4South Korea – 14
Mexico – 15Germany – 5China – 21
Venezuela – 37Saudi Arabia – 25India – 19
Brazil – 23Kenya – 21Malaysia – 25
Argentina – 13South Africa – 32Australia – 6

This article taken from Status Report of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Full article at srdata/docs/sr4805.pdf
2011, the lowest number

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