The evolution of car safety technologies

Since motor cars were first introduced over 120 years ago, the advancements in safety have been vast and varied. Many such details we now take for granted, such as automatic windscreen wipers, safety glass and airbags. To highlight the key advancements in car safety that has contributed to lowering road death tolls, Gold Coast Personal Injury Law Firm Smith's Lawyers have published an infographic which visualises the evolution of car safety features.

Key findings in Smith's Lawyers Research

In 1980 in Australia for every 100,000 people there were 43.2 deaths caused as a result of road accidents. In 2012 that number fell to just 5.78, which is a drop of over 86 percent. Smith's Lawyers Principal said of the findings, "Advancement in car safety features have contributed significantly to the drop in car accident fatalities as well as injuries." Greg Smith also commented that "further advancements are needed to reach the goal of zero deaths on our roads."

  • 1898 saw the introduction of electric headlamps in the U.S.
  • In 1903, the first hand-operated windscreen wipers were invented. 23 years later, Bosch created the first electric wipers.
  • Ford began using Safety Glass in all cars in 1930.
  • In 1951 Walter Linderer patented the airbag, which was either released manually by the driver, or on impact.
  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) was first tested on a motorcycle back in 1958.
  • In 1987, Traction control was first introduced by Mercedes and BMW, with Bosch again creating the first electric version in 1995.

What direction are we headed in now?

Google has teamed up with luxury car brands Audi and Lexus amongst others to work on cutting-edge self-driving technology. Vehicle to vehicle communication could even be utilised to warn drivers of oncoming vehicles, or when a vehicle ahead is likely to brake.

However, until the magic formula is found, driver error will always result in accidents. That's where Smith's Lawyers come in. Experts in the field of compensation, the firm specialises in vehicle accident and injury claims.