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Safety Approaches

Safety Approaches

Talking about car safety, we should mention the two types of car safety know today: active safety and passive safety. Here, a useful separation may be achieved by considering those systems and design elements that are relevant up to the moment of impact contribute to the 'active safety', and those which are called upon and affect the system performance from the moment of impact contribute to the 'passive safety'.

In the automotive industry the term 'active safety' (also known as primary safety) has traditionally referred to systems that help to prevent accidents. For example, good visibility from the vehicle can be considered a component of active safety (the term is also used). New generations of active safety car accessories include ABS, ESC, an intelligent speed adaptation, VSC, VDIM, brake assist, traction control, and seat belt pre-tensioning and others. Those are referred as active in the sense that they invoke an action in order to improve safety. Such active features usually operate automatically, in response to sensor signals that give an understanding of the vehicle's state.

Passive safety devices and systems are those which operate without any input or action from the vehicle occupant. If accident has occurred, it is the purpose of the passive security elements to protect the passengers. The special-designed crumple zones, the seatbelts and the airbags are the elements belonging to the passive safety of a vehicle. Most passive safety accessories for cars are designed to work together and if they don't the effectiveness of those are greatly reduced. For example, an airbag may cause more harm than good if the driver does not wear a seatbelt. The seatbelts are the oldest passive security features included in cars and they also have evolved greatly in time.

One of the most important safety elements is the car's structure and design. Today's car structures are well studied in test laboratories and they are designed to distribute the immense energies resulting from an accident around the passenger compartment. Manufacturers use high-strength steel elements which will reduce the chance that the passengers will be injured by different objects intruding the passenger safety cell. This cell must remain intact no matter what and it is made from special types of very resistant steel.

Lots of features that increase driver comfort and control can make driving much safer. Some of them come standard, others are optional but still they can reduce discomfort and allow the driver to concentrate more fully on the road.