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Development of Automobile Safety

Essay by   •  October 29, 2010  •  Essay  •  883 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,694 Views

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Nowadays, along with the development and increase of economical level, the automobile has become an essential and important transport. Also, it leads to another problem: traffic accident. Over the last century, there were more crashes in U.S than the number of the wars that Americans have been through. Therefore, people started to notice that they need the automobile safety to protect themselves. Over the last 100 years, the automobile safety has changed a lot to give out the best protection that we're using today. Below are 3 major features: safety glass, air bag and seat belt.

Today safety glass, which will not splinter when exposed to shock, is in windshields for cars. Essential as it is, safety glass was the result of a clumsy mistake. In 1903, Edouard Benedictus, a French scientist inadvertently knocked a glass flask to the floor when fetching reagents. He heard the glass shatter, but later, he saw the broken pieces of the flask still hung together, more or less in their original contour. Then he learned that the flask had recently held a solution of cellulose nitrate, a liquid plastic, which had evaporated, apparently depositing a thin coating of plastic on the flask's interior. He experimented with coating glass with liquid plastic, then shattering it and it was not broken. When Benedictus read that most of the drivers seriously injured had been cut by shattered glass windshields, he knew that his unique glass could save lives. Unfortunately, automakers were uninterested in the costly safety glass for windshields. It was not until the outbreak of World War I that safety glass found its first application: as the lenses for gas masks. After automobile executives examined the proven performance of the new glass under the extreme conditions of battle, safety glass's major application became car windshields. It was very dangerous when something hit your car, the glass was broken and as a result, you would be sore and even dead. But with this unbreakable glass, now you don't have to worry about this because nothing can touch you from the outside.

An air bag is a high-speed inflation device hidden in the hub of the steering wheel or in the dash on the passenger's side. Today they are installed on all new passenger cars sold in the United States. Some automobiles have side-impact air bags, located in doors or seats. The inflated bag creates a cushion between the occupant and the vehicle's interior. They are made of a nylon or polyester fabric coated with neoprene. The deployment of air bags is controlled by crash sensors and an electronic control module. The crash sensors are designed to detect the sudden deceleration, or slowing down, of a vehicle caused by a crash. The first air bag was patented in 1953 by American engineer John W. Hetrick. The federal government began making air bags mandatory in the 1990s. The force with which an air bag deploys has proven deadly to children or small adults in some circumstances, however. For this reason, children aged 12 and under, as well as rear-facing infant car seats, should not be allowed in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with an air bag on the passenger side. Some newer automobile

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