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Terry’s Auto Service and Towing: History of Car Safety Features (Part 1)

Terry's Auto Service and Towing  looks back on car safety

History of Car Safety from Terry’s Auto Service and Towing

At Terry’s Auto Service and Towing, we see the results of a lot of car accidents. Car safety features have come a long way since motorized vehicles became a viable option for transportation. Today, in the Terry’s Auto Service and Towing blog, we take a look back at the beginnings of car safety features.

The First Car Accidents

The first car accidents occurred not long after the first cars were developed. The first documented car accident happened in the 1890s in Ohio. Not soon after, more and more accidents started to happen, in part because there were absolutely no safety regulations. Each car was made from various materials and it was believed that only the driver and not the vehicle was the cause of accidents. Slowly, it became understood that design flaws in the cars could cause accidents as well.

Starting the Path to Safer Driving

As more people were injured and killed in auto accidents, people began recognizing the need for safety features. Organizations like the National Safety Council began publishing statistics and hosting conferences to promote safer habits with drivers.

Improving the Car Design

These organizations began pressing car manufacturers to better improve the safety features on cars as well. With some resistance, the manufacturers started implementing features like shatterproof glass and better brakes. All-steel car frames and hydraulic brakes were also introduced as further safety measures. Manufacturers also began utilizing turn signals, starting with Buick in the late 1930s.

Underutilized Inventions

As cars became more common, many innovators began developing their own inventions to make cars safer. Things like seat belts, padded dashboards, and more were first invented in the 1930s. However, they were not used in regular practice until decades after.

A Scientific Look at Car Safety

Even with all of the reassurances from car manufacturers, the public was not as trusting. Doctors and universities began doing crash tests to study the effects of collisions on the human body. These studies led to the increase of padded dashboards and seatbelts in the 1950s. These safety features, first used as an addition to vehicles, became mandatory in every new vehicle in the 1960s.

Staying Safe with Terry’s Auto Service and Towing

At Terry’s Auto Service and Towing, we know the value of car safety features. We are a wrecker service and auto shop, and also offer 24-hour towing and roadside assistance. For more information on the services we offer, check out the Terry’s Auto Service and Towing website or contact our office today. And be sure to stay tuned for the next part of the “History of Car Safety Features” on the Terry’s Auto Service and Towing website!

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