Formula One race cars can reach over 200 mph. They are designed to protect drivers in crashes at these speeds. When you see one of the cars breaking apart on impact, that is part of the design. Specific parts break off, taking much of the crash impact and leaving the driver safe in the central part of the vehicle.
Car manufacturers do not build vehicles for the everyday consumer in the same way. They will not keep drivers safe when traveling well over the speed limit. A recent study looked at how secure a car kept a driver at 40 mph, 50 mph and 56 mph. Studying the same car model, it found that despite airbags and other safety features, the car was far more dangerous at the two higher speeds. At 50 mph and 56 mph, the steering wheel broke through the airbag and hit the driver’s head.
Road design and speed limits play a significant role in safety
People are impatient and want to get places faster, so there is constant pressure to raise speed limits. At the same time, there is pressure from road safety campaigners to reduce speeds, especially in urban areas.
Racetracks designers assume that drivers will crash. The circuits are free of obstacles on and around the track and include elements designed to lessen the effect of any crash on the driver. The people that design our streets and highways have different priorities. Our roadways are full of things that can kill a speeding driver who hits them, such as lamposts, buildings and metal barriers. Our streets are also full of other people that a driver can crash into and kill or injure.
Car manufacturers make a big deal about the latest safety features their vehicles include. Yet believing they will keep you safe in a crash at top speed is dangerous. If another driver hits you when you are traveling at anything other than a low speed, you will likely suffer injuries that need considerable compensation. An attorney can help you learn more.