It’s amazing to think how far car safety has come since the invention of the automobile. Some of you might even remember a time when airbags weren’t fitted as standard on cars. But it’s not just safety inside the vehicle that’s been enhanced – things have got better outside the car, too. And now a test in Australia has demonstrated just how much things have improved since the turn of the century.
To put into perspective how much we’ve come to depend on the car over the last 100 years, we can take a look at road accident statistics. In 1899 just 26 people died in car accidents in the U.S. Fast forward to 2016, and that figure stands at over 37,000. That’s nearly 12 people for every 100,000 of the population.
Airbags were introduced in cars sold in the U.S. as early as the 1970s. However, they were initially seen as being replacements for seat belts, which not everyone wore at the time. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 1980s that airbags were used in tandem with seat belts to protect drivers and passengers. Despite their history, you might be surprised to discover when the first recorded accident between two cars equipped with airbags actually occurred.