Have you ever heard someone complain that “they just don’t make cars like they used to”? Odds are, that person was involved in a minor accident. They may be frustrated by the way their new car seemed to take a lot of damage in the crash, and they may be complaining that a car they had back in the ’70s would have simply had a few scratches and been fine.
The reason for this, in many cases, is that modern cars have crumple zones. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re worse. They’re actually far better. These crumple zones increase safety on the road by a wide margin.
The issue is that there is a lot of kinetic energy in a car accident. When the car is incredibly solid and refuses to give, that energy still has to go somewhere. It tends to impact the driver and passengers in the car. They take the full force of the impact.
With a crumple zone, though, the car intentionally breaks, bends and compacts in specific areas. The materials used to do this absorb a lot of the energy. By the time the impact moves into the actual frame, and then into the people in the car, there is far less energy than there would have been in older cars. This can reduce the scope of the injuries and make it less likely that those injuries will be fatal. It may mean cars cost more to repair, but the trade-off is human safety.
Naturally, you can still get injured in any vehicle when involved in an accident. You may be able to seek compensation for lost income, medical bills and more.