Ever-safer vehicles can't protect us from ourselves
6:33

Ever-safer vehicles can't protect us from ourselves

Cars
[MUSIC] Geez, do I even need an intro here? I mean, all those crashes are a tough act to follow. Anyway. Despite being loaded with computers and cutting edge driver aids today's vehicles can unfortunately. Still crush, but the good news is modern cars and trucks are safer than they have ever been before. And here is how they got that way. Crumple zones and airbags pretensioners and three point seatbelts, high strength, steel, and side impact door beams. These are, but a few of the things. That save life and limb when, the unthinkable happens. And they've all been developed over the decades as car companies slowly but steadily improve their products. But engineers can't just throw a bunch of stuff at a vehicle and hope it all works. You see, everything has to be validated, which of course automakers do internally, but so does the government. Through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NITSA for short. Now we reached out to these fine folks but they were unwilling or unable to participate in this video. So sad trombone. Now aside from all Automakers and the feds, even third parties get involved like triple A for various things. And then the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which has been smashing up cars since 1995, and providing us with these super cool crash test videos. We currently are running three frontal crashes to judge whether or not vo can protect you if you have a frontal crash. We've got a side crash. We've got a roof strength test to evaluate whether or not the vehicle can protect you in a rollover crash. And we've got a test where we take the seat out of the vehicle and put it in a in a machine that moves the seat as if it were in a rear crash. To see if the season head restraint can protect your neck against whiplash type injuries. NITSA is similar but in the case of iihs. After all that testing is completed, vehicles are given scores in a range of different categories from the structure and safety cage to the drivers legs. Now four different grades are possible with good being the best, then there's acceptable marginal and poor. That's the one you don't want. Now they also evaluate crash prevention systems and even headlights things that factor into their highest ratings. And exceptional vehicles earned either a Top Safety Pick or a Top Safety Pick plus rating which is of course the best at the iihs. hands out. All of these easy to understand ratings make it a cinch for drivers to find a vehicle that meets their safety requirements. And of course all of this work IHS does is designed to go above and beyond What's required by law? One of the philosophies behind our defining the crash test that we do is that we're making sure we're addressing real world problems not addressed by regulation or the government's end cap testing. So in the case of the frontal crash, for instance, the government's frontal crash test, both in regulation and in encap. Involves running the front of the vehicle into a completely flat wall. Our frontal tests involve hitting the wall sort of on the edge so that you crush part of the front of the vehicle more than the other parts. The reason we do the offset tests is because far more real world crashes involve some degree of offset very few real world crashes. Involve running into a completely flat wall. Which is represented by the government's crashed is testing is not only much more strenuous than what's necessary. It also evolves over time they change it to more accurately reflect the sorta crashes that happen in the real world. One thing that's really important is that if you design the test, people will do what they can to pass that test, right? But what it doesn't do necessarily, is look at the cases that most best represent how the systems are actually Used in the real world. And what we've seen in many cases is that automakers can design the car to perform fairly well on that test. But then whenever you push it outside of that test, then the systems don't perform nearly as well. The government side impact crash test was developed back in the 70s and 80s. It was based on what happens when your car struck by a car. In the late 90s, we were looking at how the fleet was changing. We said hey, there are a lot more SUVs and pickup trucks on the road. What happens when SUVs and pickup trucks hit your car? Bad things. That's what happens. cars may be safer than ever, but it's still going to hurt when a superduty Ford plows into the sign of your Honda Fit. This mismatch has become an issue in recent years since trucks and SUVs have become so popular. A topic we did a whole video on not that long ago. Still, organizations like IHS are really pushing automakers to build safer vehicles and these efforts are paying off. What happens is the the crash rates and the the fatalities have been steadily were steadily going down. They weren't going down because of education. They were going down because of safe vehicles, but there's only so much the The structure can do, because the overwhelming amount of wrecks are the result of just one thing. Simple answer to the question, human error. By and large, human error, 90-plus percent of all collisions and crashes are to do with human error. That is a shocking statistic. I knew, collectively, we suck at driving, but 90% of crashes are our own fault. That's nuts. And depressingly simple to explain.>>What happened around 2007 eight at the advent of smartphones. Things changed and they changed mostly in the United States.

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