The Importance Of Automobile Safety

1090 Words5 Pages
Political and societal attitudes around automobile safety standards were still evolving during this era. From the time the first automobile was built in 1893 through the 1920s, many attempts were made at controlling deaths and injuries. However, many regulations failed to pass because they conflicted with social values that were developing in American society with respect to the automobile. The public seemed to be satisfied with the level of safety, leaving manufacturers to focus on public demand for more efficient and affordable vehicles. With the exception of some safety critics, the general consensus was that automobile safety was the responsibility of the driver. This attitude relegated automobile safety to secondary importance and it remained…show more content…
Ford tested the Pinto in 1970 and the result was the same. Ford found the Pinto was only capable of passing the test with vehicle modifications, the cheapest of which would be to place a rubber bladder in the gas tank. The Pinto fuel system design placed the fuel tank behind the rear axle, instead of above it, making it more prone to being struck during a crash. Other aspects of the design of the vehicle enhanced the danger: the rear of the vehicle was “soft” and collapsed easily on impact; the gas tank was separated from the rear axle by only nine inches; bolts in the differential were positioned in a way to puncture the fuel tank; and the fuel filler pipe could easily disconnect from the tank during an impact. These design features combined to make the vehicle vulnerable to a quick loss of all fuel during an impact, making highly susceptible to fires. In rear impact accidents at over 40 MPH, the vehicle damage could be so extensive to the vehicle’s doors that the occupants may be unable to exit the vehicle. It’s easy to see why the vehicle was eventually considered by many to be a death
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