Ignorance of laws, as we know, doesn't exempt from liability. And this rule belongs to laws of physics too: active and passive safety of the car is not only marketing concepts, but also real constructional innovations which appear every year. To introduce them, it is necessary to look how everything works in an emergency. That is to smash the brand new car, and then to look what from this will turn out. And as requirements to safety of cars constantly raise, become complicated also crash tests.
Actually, the first tests in which experimental cars were smashed, carried out still before it has become an obligatory norm. For example, in General Motors such practice was for the first time applied in 1934.
However, during that time there were many stereotypes. For example, people thought that the car is stronger, the it is safer. The reality was relentless: the heavy car at collision didn't absorb blow, and transferred him to salon — to the driver and passengers. It became so clear that the body by all means has to have rumpled zones.
The United States of America became pioneers in respect of the standardized crash tests, and there was it in the 1970th. The system has arisen thanks to National association of traffic safety and has received the familiar name NCAP that is deciphered as New Car Assessment Program (the program of assessment and control of new cars). The experts occupied in the program have thought up five-star rating which is used to this day. It is interesting that the first carried-out crash test has given so much new information that on only one her analysis half a year has left kind.
Strangely enough, in Europe full-fledged crash tests have appeared for two decades later. Earlier all tests were informal — car makers were afraid of low marks and in every possible way interfered with publication of data, referring to their bias. Or used cunning: we will allow if the car has well proved to be in head-on collision, but "I have filled up" side blow, it was reported only about the first assessment.
Only in 1996 there was an organization under the name EuroNCAP — that that sets the tone for the systems of passive safety in the Old World. Since 2009 the organization doesn't differentiate results of crash tests, and puts down to each concrete model only the general mark not to mislead buyers.
Each large world automobile brand has the idea which is embodied in each subsequent modification. It has so turned out that, for example, in BMW always placed emphasis on pleasure from driving, in Mercedes, on the contrary, on comfort of passengers, well, and in Volvo have headed for active and passive safety. Later by production even the special group on studying of accidents with participation of the Volvo cars will be created. Or rather, them was even two. One was engaged in passenger cars, another — cargo. Both investigated photos, claims for road accident, talked to victims. Sometimes after accident cars were even transported to laboratory of safety in the Gothenburg. Naturally, results of investigations affected a design of the subsequent models.
By the way, exactly thanks to Volvo there were the standard equipment three-point latched seat belts, and the company shared their really saving design with other car makers absolutely free of charge.
There were also other interesting innovations. For example, folding steering column: at blow the wheel just went to the dashboard, but hasn't wounded the head and a thorax of the driver. Or head restraints which protected cervical vertebras from a so-called hlystovy trauma when the people who are in salon at collision sharply throws back back.
The Japanese company Subaru of one of the first has decided to secure as much as possible not only the driver and passengers, but also pedestrians. For example, on a case of accident of running-down the last it was offered to release from a car bumper something like a safety cushion which not only would suppress blow, but also would prevent hit of the unfortunate passerby under wheels.
Since recent time official tests which estimate cars from the point of view of safety for pedestrians have become a habitual rule. Usually in "laboratory" conditions arrival at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour is reproduced. At the same time impact of a bumper, cowl and windshield on the head and the victim's legs is analyzed.
Programs of crash tests in the different countries still differ, and is quite strong. There are, for example, several nuances relevant only for the USA. So, exactly there especially diligently test cars for a capsizing case. The essence of test is in what on a roof of the car is pressed by a plate weight three times big, than the vehicle. The flash shouldn't exceed 12 centimeters, and even at the high passenger ideally remains rather vital space over the head.
Still Americans like to test a car for fire safety. For this purpose the heavy plate crashes into the car with a full tank behind, and loss of fuel after blow has to make no more than 30 milliliters a minute. And it is unimportant into what state the examinee the car after blow has fallen.
Europeans within increase in social responsibility of citizens quite often can "frighten" potential buyers of vehicles by unusual, but vital crash tests, demonstrating that during blow happens in salon with loose objects. And there is nothing good: bags, suitcases or, for example, the microwave which is carried as a gift to the grandmother and even a favourite domestic cat "get" weight in tens of times bigger, than their own, and can put severe injuries. Here and the fastened seat belts won't save.
In total in the world is ten one and a half known organizations which are carrying out crash tests: JNCAP (Japan), ANCAP (Australia and New Zealand), C-NCAP (China), ARCAP (Russia) and others. Techniques at all different: for example, the frontal blow is carried out at a different speed and for overlapping of the different areas. Somewhere there are more requirements to side blow, and here and there carry consistently out tests both on American, and by the European technique.
By itself, the biomechanics in crash tests is very important therefore plastic dummies which were used initially, have quickly been recognized unusable for experiments of this sort. The USA long argued on ethical aspect, but at some point nevertheless have decided what for the sake of science can be used for similar tests... bodies of real people. For this purpose chose deceased old age, the dead as nonviolent death. Was considered that one such corpse saved more than 8 thousand lives, that is mockery was justified. However, over time the quantity of the produced models grew, and there weren't enough "resources" any more and, to be fair, data didn't give a full picture. For example, such tests didn't show at all what occurs during road accident with children.
Then, in the 1960th, as dummies short time used animals, in particular pigs under anesthetic. Zoodefenders were horrified, but exactly thanks to animals in our cars there was a safe dashboard and the mirror of a rearview which isn't injuring the head at road accident. And the last pig drove relatively recently — in the mid-nineties!
One decade later in the USA have begun to develop the dummies which are most in detail duplicating anatomic features of a human body. That is inside there were a backbone, joints which are brought closer to the presents. Dummies were the different growth, different build and, figuratively speaking, different age. For example, 21-kilogram "seven-year-old" and even 15-kilogram "three-year-old". Together with them by the end of the 1990th also rules of crash tests for children's chairs have been created.
Dummies — expensive pleasure: one copy can cost up to 400 000 dollars. But they not disposable, today they can be "treated" and used anew.
Every year there are some unusual crash tests. For example, the keen interest in the two-wheeled equipment is around the world observed recently. As a result, crash tests for motorcycles and motor-equipment have appeared. Especially close attention is paid to a helmet, protection of a back and also a wheel of "an iron horse" after road accident. Moreover, for some motorcycles have managed to think up even the improvised safety cushions! However, similar tests are much less predictable, than automobile.
Today each large car maker works also on pilotless systems. Artificial intelligence driving has to make traffic many times safer, but it happens not today and not tomorrow so crash tests are still extremely important.
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