Although the history of the first automobile can be traced back to the late 1800s, it wasn't until the mass production of the Model T that drivers and passengers realized how exciting, yet dangerous, an automobile could be.
In older automobiles, many dangers lurk including sharp corners, easily breakable glass, and little to no structural protection. The evolution of car safety can be traced back to simply beginning such as the installation of hydraulic brakes.
These days many individuals still enjoy riding in a classic car despite the increased risk of accident injuries. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), approximately 11% of fatal accidents in 2009 involved a driver who was not belted in. Additionally, 4% of passenger fatalities were linked to non-use of safety equipment.
Additionally, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that the number of fatal crashes and persons injured per 100 million vehicle miles traveled has decreased since the 1980's when seat belts became a required safety device.
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The History of Car Safety: A Timeline
The Ford Model T, declared the first affordable American car, was a simple car with top speeds of 40 to 45 miles per hour (mph). Although top speeds in some motor vehicles of the modern age reach well over 100 mph, a collision involving a car going 45 mph that does not have anti-lock brakes, good structure, or seat belts can be deadly. Ontario MTO notes that more than 1,000 collisions in 2009 involved vehicles with no safety equipment.
Vehicle safety has come a long way, below is a timeline of many important changes made throughout the years to protect drivers and passengers.
- 1930 Safety glass becomes standard in all Ford cars
- 1934 The first-ever crash test is performed by General Motors
- 1935 Canada establishes the Department of Transport
- 1937 Several auto manufacturers add a flat, smooth dash, rounded door handles, and a windshield wiper to their models as well as additional cushioning to the back of front seats for better backseat passenger protection
- 1949 Chrysler incorporates disc brakes into their Crown Imperial
- 1958 The United Nations establishes the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations which is used to create a uniform system of regulations for vehicle safety, theft resistance, environmental regulations, and more
- 1958 The three-point seat belt is invented and becomes standard in all Volvo vehicles
- 1959 Headrests become an option for front seats
- 1964 - Cars sold after January 1st must be equipped with front outboard lap belts in the United States
- 1964 Volvo develops the first rear-facing child seat
- 1971 Canada establishes the motor vehicle safety act in order to set safety standards for the design, creation, and importation of motor vehicles
- 1974 General Motors begins to offer airbags as an option for some vehicles
- 1976 Ontario becomes the first province to enforce the use of a seat belt
- 1979 The United States National Highway Transportation Safety Administration begins crash-testing popular cars and publishing the results
Since the 1980s there have been many more advancements in safety equipment including anti-lock brake systems becoming a commonplace feature of modern vehicles, rear-view cameras, and blind-spot sensors. Furthermore, airbags have continued to evolve and provide better protection to all those involved in a crash even pedestrians.
Contact our Ontario Motor Vehicle Lawyers Today for Free
Despite the advancements in motor vehicle safety equipment, injuries are still commonplace during car wrecks. In Ontario, more than 62,000 personal injury collisions were reported in 2009. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damaged property.
At Greg Monforton and Partners we are dedicated to helping personal injury victims get the justice they deserve. We can help guide you through the entire litigation process to ensure you get the MAXIMUM amount of compensation you deserve. Since 1987 we have been representing clients throughout the Windsor, Ontario area and are proud to serve the surrounding areas, including:
and many more local towns and cities. To find out how we may be able to help you with your claim, contact us at (866) 320-4770. Our intake team will connect you with one of our lawyers best suited to handling your case after a few initial questions.
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