What is a crumple zone on a car for?
The crumple zone, also known as the crash zone, is the place in an automobile where the energy of the impact is absorbed and reduced, thus preventing it from being transmitted to the occupants and keeping passengers safe during injury. It’s designed to crumple and deform in time of collision.
How can a crumple zone work?
If your vehicle is moving at speed and then collides with another car or object, you and your passengers will continue to move forward within the car due to inertia. Because of gravity, you may hit the steering wheel or dash with a force greater than your normal automobile safety weight.
- The force will increase based on the speed you are travelling at.
- A crumple zone is intended to slow down the crash, and also absorb energy to decrease the difference between the rate of the vehicle occupants (still travelling at speed because of momentum) and the car (abruptly halted.)
- In effect, some parts of cars are”forfeited” — designed to literally crumple on impact, leaving the good cabin intact.
- Impact energy which affects the reinforced cabin area is going to be distributed over a wider area.
- All this reduces the damaging affects of collisions on passengers and drivers.
Basically — you’re travelling at 60 mph, now your car is going at 0 mph but your body is still going at 60 mph. Whatever you can do to slow yourself down will ultimately reduce any damage.
Does it save lives?
Like seat belts and air bags, a crumple zone slows down the passengers and driver to prevent them hitting the windscreen at speed and with greater force. The force of this impact can be greatly reduced even with a slight reduction in deceleration.
Of course, a car colliding with a solid car with no crumple zone will absorb most of the energy and really harm of the crash. The same would be true if it collided with a solid concrete wall. However, two cars without crumple zones colliding would be pretty disastrous — so it is always better to be in a car with a crumple zone!
Why do cars have crumple zones?
The term”crumple zone” probably sounds confusing. As if there are places in your automobile designated to cave in on impact. Well, that’s not exactly how it works. Looking into why cars have crumple zones, you will soon realize that engineers consider safety concerning how to keep the occupants safe, and part of that is considering how the body of the car can best absorb impact in the event of a collision.
Every car has a safety shell intended to protect those inside. Crumple zones, which are made to consume impact2019 Volkswagen Jetta driving on road and direct it away from the occupants, are situated at the front and rear. They do crumple because this allows for the force to be spread out. The energy from a crash is then sent across the front end, for instance, rather than all the force being placed directly in the impact site. The zones are built to break down a predictable pattern.
An occupant cell, on the other hand, is inflexible and designed so that it will not crush on impact and will keep occupants safe as much as possible.
Saying the general interior won’t crumple is not the same as stating the pedals won’t. Or rather, they detach. Because feet and legs are prone to injury, pedals will disconnect at a certain degree of force to protect legs and feet from getting the pedals embed in them, as they would if they remained stiff structures.
Another key safety feature is the roll-over bar system, as the roof is one place that is not supposed to crumple. Sensors on your VW track for the odds of a rollover and then if the system is triggered, rollover bars in the rear headrests are released within 250 milliseconds to help fortify the roof.