How Crumple Zones Can Reduce the Impact of a Collision

Car smashed in the front and rear end

Perhaps one of the best improvements in vehicle safety over the last few decades has been the crumple zone. Combined with seat belts, airbags, and now advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), crumple zones are designed to deform during impact to protect the passengers in the car.

What Does a Crumple Zone Do?

The crumple zone, also known as the crush zone, is a part of a car that’s designed to crumple on impact when hit with significant force. A car usually has a crumple zone in the front and in the back.

The purpose of having a car crumple when impacted in the front or rear of the car is to reduce the amount of kinetic energy transferred to the passengers. If a vehicle is travelling at 110 km/h and hits something that causes it to stop immediately, the passengers will continue to travel forward at 110 km/h until they are stopped by a seatbelt or airbag. When a crumple zone activates, it reduces the initial impact of the crash and redistributes the kinetic energy before it gets to the car’s passengers.

How Are Crumple Zones Designed?

There are many factors car manufacturers need to consider when designing a crumple zone. They must factor in the size and weight of the car, stiffness of the frame, and the kinds of stresses the car will likely face during an accident. Safety specialists must find the right balance between too much and too little resistance.

Many simple crumple zone designs involve frames that bend or collapse into themselves upon impact. Advanced designs may use different metals and other materials that, when used together, absorb more kinetic energy.

While crumple zones can help lessen injuries and save lives, there are other safety features to consider when purchasing a new car. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are becoming more advanced and can help to reduce traffic accidents.

To learn more about how you can save money on your auto insurance premium, contact an experienced member of the Bow Valley Insurance team today for a free, no obligation quote.