Physics of safety systems in a Car

02/11/2022

There has been a lot of focus on car safety in the last decade. As a result, it's now much easier to find vehicles with active safety features or passive safety systems. 

For those who are just getting into the world of buying cars, there are still a few things to think about.

If you're anything like us, your Google News feed has probably been flooded with stories about the seemingly never-ending debate over whether or not certain cars have active or passive safety systems. When looking for a new car to purchase, it can be stressful trying to find one that has all of the features you want but doesn't come with too many risks.

When you're out shopping for a new car, it can be easy to overlook some of the features that could make your ride safer. However, active and passive safety systems are becoming more common in new cars - and they're not just for luxury brands!

In this blog, we'll give you the lowdown on how these safety technologies work. This will give you an idea of what you can expect before you buy, and may even help you decide which Car is right for your family.

Active safety and Passive safety: What's the basic difference?

Any safety system that reacts to a collision is considered a passive safety feature. They do not warn you beforehand, but they work to minimize damage to the vehicle and save the lives of occupants in the event of a collision.

Seatbelts are the most visible passive safety system in a car. They keep drivers and passengers safely in their seats by tightening and restricting motion when a crash occurs.

Other common examples include: Head restraints, Crumple zones, Airbags, Pedestrian safety systems & high strength glass.

Systems that work to avoid accidents entirely are active safety devices. They rely on cameras and radar or sonar to detect obstacles or risks and will generally emit an audible alarm when there is a risk of collision.

The most common active safety system is the back-up camera, which displays an image of what is behind the vehicle on the infotainment screen.

Other examples include parking sensors, automated parking assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change alert.

In conclusion, the basic difference between passive and active safety is that passive safety measures react to a crash and protect occupants, while active safety measures prevent or minimize crashes before they happen.

However, it's also important to understand that not every safety system is a passive or active safety feature and it's not always easy to determine which one is better in an individual crash test.

The important thing to keep in mind is that safety is a trade-off. The likelihood that one system will be able to prevent a crash after the fact is limited. Even so, it's worth considering the pros and cons of each type of safety system when you're toying with buying a new car.