Crumple zones are a structural safety feature designed to absorb the energy of an impact during a crash. They are most commonly located at the front and rear of the car. They are designed to protect people from rear-end and head-on collisions.
A crumple zone works by absorbing energy to prevent it from intruding into the passenger compartment of the automobile. Crumple zones operate by allowing sections of the body of the automobile to collapse when a certain threshold is met, like a soda can. The crumple zone absorbs energy and increases the amount of time available for the vehicle to stop. This spreads the force out over both time and distance.
Unfortunately, crumple zones do not always have the desired effect. In low-speed crashes, a soft crumple zone allows more damage to occur to a vehicle even when a collision is relatively minor and of no major threat to the safety of the occupants of the vehicle. This increases the repair costs significantly. In high-speed crashes, the fully-collapsed crumple zone can intrude into the passenger compartment.
To combat these problems, some automakers have experimented with harder crumple zone designs. This makes them less likely to collapse which eliminates the problems associated with low and high speed collisions by increasing the amount of force required to collapse the crumple zone.
While hard designs are good, they do not perform as well as soft designs when a mid-speed collision occurs. This is important because mid-speed collisions are most common.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Sheboygan car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (920) 459-8000 to discuss your case and to schedule an initial consultation.