Here are four of the deadliest highways in the US, as well as a few tips on how to tackle them and still make it home in one piece.
With more than 28,000 miles of land spanning from east to west, the U.S. highway system offers some of the most exciting and scenic thoroughfares in the world. To Americans, the term “road trip” brings to mind thoughts of good tunes, open air, serenity and the occasional Slim Jim. But not all road trips are relaxing and serene.
The U.S. is home to some of the most treacherous and dangerous roads known to man. Here are four of the most deadly roadways in America, as well as a few tips on how to tackle them and still make it home in one piece.
Interstate 285, which circles the city of Atlanta, is not technically the most fatal highway in all the land. But when the numbers are crunched into fatalities per each 10-mile stretch, it ranks as No. 1 of the deadliest highways. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows Interstate 285 is one of America’s deadliest freeways. I-285 saw 26 fatal wrecks (second only to Florida’s Interstate 92) and 29 total deaths in 2013. That number may not be startling to everyone. But when considering the length of the highway, that’s 3.5 deaths for every 10 miles, with Interstate 4 reporting three fatalities for every 10 miles.
There are several theories concerning what makes I-285 so dangerous. For starters, there’s the Tom Moreland Interchange, an 18-lane freeway informally known as “Spaghetti Junction, where the I-285 merges with I-85. The confusing and jumbled stretch of highway can often overwhelm out-of-town drivers. Additionally, I-85 sees more than 2 million vehicles on its asphalt per day, many of them tractor trailers, which some believe to be a contributing factor to the high number of accidents. That’s because drivers of smaller vehicles must often change lanes to pass these slow-moving vehicles. As if those two issues were not enough, Interstate 285 is often covered in snow.
If you are driving around Atlanta, know the lay of the (highway) land and never pass a tractor trailer on your right.
One of the longest interstates in the country, Interstate 10 spans all the way from Florida to California, and crosses many routes and highways along the way. Though there are plenty of tricky and perilous parts along the way, the stretch of highway from the California border to Phoenix is perhaps most perilous. This 150-mile section runs through the desolate desert and tallied a total of 85 fatalities in one year, making the I-10 one of the deadliest highways across the US.
If you’re traveling through the desert terrain, make sure your vehicle’s fluids are topped off. Pulling off to the side of the road, particularly at night, increases the likelihood of an accident.
Officially known as the deadliest highway in the United States, the roughly 400-mile stretch of Interstate 92 running north from Miami to the Georgia border has a rate of nearly two fatalities per mile, when measured over a five-year period. At its peak, the highway had 12 open lanes of traffic, but is still overcrowded and constantly busy. Add to the mix the state of Florida’s reputation for extreme weather and a number of out-of-town drivers and you have tragedy waiting to happen.
Do not drive uninsured. I-92 experiences so many traffic collisions that just this section of interstate alone has a state-designated attorney eager to find someone at fault.
Million Dollar Highway
U.S. Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway, is one of the country’s most beautiful routes, as parts of it winds through the scenic Rocky Mountains. Twelve miles of one 25-mile highway stretch were actually carved into the Rockies in the 1880s and were designed for the transportation of ore. Though those 12 miles are breathtakingly gorgeous, one wrong turn will take you right off a cliff and into a jagged ravine. From Ouray and continuing through to Uncompahgre Gorge, there are no guardrails in sight — nothing between you and the bottom of the canyon.
In an area like this, with tight curves and a steep gradient, your vehicle had better be equipped with ultra, high-performance tires for sharpened steering response and high-speed control.
Taking a Road Trip? Be Prepared for the Deadliest Highways in the US
Though America’s highways may offer unbelievably panoramic landscapes, these scenic sights may come at a high price. Make sure you and your vehicle are ready before hitting America’s open roads to ensure you will have an exciting and safe journey.
There is a car accident every 60 seconds somewhere in the world, according to data from The National Highway Traffic Administration. It’s estimated that there are at least 5.25 million car crashes around the globe on a yearly basis.
While car accidents like fender-benders and side-swipes are inevitable, there are a few things you can do after the fact to make it better. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Take Notes About Your Car Accident
You will probably be quite shaken up after being in an accident no matter the severity of the crash. But you must do your best to take detailed notes while at the scene. If you are in need of medical care, however, seek help and assistance first. Later on these notes will help your case if you have to go to court.
Record as much as you can, such as who was driving, where they were driving to, what direction they were driving, what led up to the accident, your speed, the current road conditions, any distractions like texting and any witnesses to the accident. Also take note of information about the other driver including their name and car insurance information.
2. Document With Photos
In addition to taking notes at the scene, it is wise to document the accident with photos. This is where your smartphone comes in handy. Smartphones like the Galaxy S6 have high-resolution cameras can capture the detailed damage ranging from large dents to faint scratches.
Any photos you take strengthen your case and will help you get fair compensation after your accident. If you can safely do so, get photos of the exterior and inside damage of all of the cars involved. Be sure to include shots of all four corners of every car. Also, try to capture the positions of the cars and include any landmarks and traffic lights so people who look at the photos can have a clearer picture. It’s also advised to get photos of the license plates, skid marks, debris and car parts from the accident.
2. Keep Everything
After the accident, keep any and all documentation. This includes anything about the wreck such as bills, receipts and estimates that are related to your car accident. Additionally, it is advised to keep all documentation from rental cars or alternative transportation used because of your car accident, towing fees and all repairs. An insurance claims adjuster can effectively investigate your case and claim with proper documentation if it is provided.
4. Make a Claim
After the dust has settled and it is time to file your claim with your car insurance provider, submit all documentation, notes and photos that you took with a police report. All of the supporting materials you collected will be used in your case. After your report has been submitted and looked at, you will be contacted by an adjuster who may have more questions for you.
For more information about documenting an accident in your home state, visit DMV.org.
Authored by Social Monsters
We all hope that we will never have to deal with a mechanical malfunction while behind the wheel of a vehicle, but every driver should know what to do during an emergency such as when the brakes fail. While these situations might be rare, taking a little extra time to learn how to properly control a vehicle with no brakes will help you avoid a catastrophic accident.
Do Not Panic When the Brakes Fail
The situation might seem frightening at first, but you must stay focused, alert, and calm. Panicking will only increase your risk of making a mistake that could result in serious injuries. You can begin by simply taking your foot off the gas and glancing in all directions for nearby cars or pedestrians. If you have cruise control on, then you should calmly switch it off before doing anything else.
Check for Brake Pedal Blockage
In some situations, drivers are not able to press the brake because there is an object under the pedal. When brake pads or brake lines are damaged, the brake pedal generally feels soft or mushy. A stiff brake pedal is not typically the result of a mechanical problem. You should try to feel for any obstructions under the brake with your feet instead of taking your eyes off the road to look down. At no point should you lean down or look down to see if there is an object under the pedal.
Downshift Into Lower Gears
Downshifting can be done with automatic transmissions as well as manual transmissions. For an automatic vehicle, a driver should start by slowly shifting into the third or second gear. Once your vehicle has begun to lose momentum, you can then move to the first gear. By doing this, your engine’s transmission will actually become a brake. The exact same process can be done with manuals by slowly lowering gears until the vehicle comes to a stop. When doing this, you should remember that putting the vehicle in the lowest gear right away could compromise your control so make sure to downshift in stages.
Pump the Brakes
Many modern vehicles have anti-lock brakes that essentially “pump” the brake lines automatically. For those who have a vehicle without anti-lock brakes, gently pumping the brakes could build up enough pressure to stop the vehicle. Three or four pumps should create enough pressure in the line for the brakes to begin working. If the vehicle does not slow down after three or four pumps, then you should move on to using the parking brake.
Use the Parking Brake
The parking brake is designed to keep a vehicle from rolling down a hill after it is parked, but it can also be used when your brakes fail. Applying the parking brake must be done slowly and methodically as well. Those who pull on the handle as hard as they can, risk losing control of the vehicle. Parking brakes are typically nothing more than a second brake pad that applies pressure to one or more wheels. They can usually stop a vehicle if the brakes fail, although bear in mind that it will take longer than usual to come to a stop because they only stop the rear wheels.
Work Your Way Out of Traffic
Now that the vehicle has begun to slow down, you must try to work your way out of traffic. The best way to do this is to turn on your emergency lights to show the other drivers that you do not have complete control over your vehicle. When you are making your way toward an exit or off of the road, you should use your lights and horns to alert the other drivers. If the situation calls for it, then you might need to use guardrails, grass, or soft sand to slow down your vehicle with friction.
Pull Over to a Safe Spot
The vehicle should not be turned off until you are at a complete stop. Attempting to turn off your vehicle before you are at a stop could affect the power steering and make it difficult to turn. Drivers should avoid parking their vehicles around corners or blind spots if possible. Even if the brakes begin working again, you must not attempt to drive your vehicle. The entire brake system must be thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic before getting back on the road.
The single best way to avoid a dangerous situation where your brakes fail is to have your car inspected and serviced as often as possible. As a general rule, drivers should have their brake pads inspected every time they change their oil. Depending on how often you drive, this maintenance might be necessary every 3,000 miles. Drivers should also be wary of any warning signs that their brakes might be damaged or worn. This includes a “soft” brake pedal, squealing sounds, and shuddering when the brakes are applied.
Author: David Moss is an automotive writer from Detroit
A car accident, no matter how trivial it is, is a scary experience for everyone. But a car accident while pregnant can be even more terrifying. Worst still, the trauma the mom-to-be experiences due to the accident can also affect the unborn child, putting his/her health and life at risk.
While there are no exact data indicating how many pregnancies are lost in the U.S. every year due to motor vehicle accidents, the number is estimated to be anywhere between 1500 and 5,000 fetal deaths from such car crashes. Most miscarriage happen during the first trimester or so, making it rather difficult to get exact numbers. It is only the fetuses that die over 20-week gestational age are recorded.
However, according to Journal of the American Medical Association, “motor vehicle crashes account for four of five deaths that occur among unborn babies of pregnant women who experience trauma.”
Car Accidents and Pregnant Women
“Automobile crashes are the largest single cause of death for pregnant women and the leading cause of traumatic fetal injury mortality in the United States.” — U. S. National Library of Medicine
What makes driving while pregnant a major challenge is the fact that seat belts, which are considered to a key safety element, are not optimally designed for keeping pregnant women safe. While they work for most people, pregnant women and their unborn babies need something more (including a three-point seat belt) to avoid the trauma during a car crash.
Besides, the abdomen-to-wheel clearance decreases with the increasing in the fetuses’ gestational age. This further increases the chances of injury and trauma even if it was a minor crash. In addition, these soon-to-be moms usually have a tendency to drive in mid-seat height conditions and they prefer not to move further away from the steering in order to operate the pedals comfortably. But this habit makes driving while pregnancy even more challenging as there is less room for abdomen-to-wheel clearance.
All these factors often lead to injuries such as uterine rupture or laceration, placental abruption, and direct fetal injury etc. for pregnant occupant(s) involved in motor-vehicle crashes. The following are the most dangerous types of car crashes for a soon-to-be-mom and her unborn child:
- Side-impact, or T-bone, collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Head-on accidents
- Rear-end collisions
So if you are pregnant and somehow got yourself involved in a car accident, safety should be your first priority. Get medical attention as soon as possible, you can worry about whose fault it was and the claims later.
Things You Need to Do Soon After an Accident
As said, first priority for pregnant occupant(s) involved in car crashes is to immediately seek medical help to ensure the safety of both the mother and the unborn baby. Do this even if it is a minor fender-bender incident. The mental anguish like stress and emotional duress that result from the trauma can lead to birth complications or worse, the death of the fetus.
Call 911 and/or other emergency immediately. Some of the most common conditions pregnant women are like to feel after the accident include:
- Experience vaginal bleeding
- Feel pain in belly or pelvis
- Lose consciousness
- Experience leaking fluid from the vagina and/or feel the umbilical cord is bulging into the vagina
In case, the latter actually happens, get down to your knees immediately, keeping your buttocks higher than your head. This helps in decreasing the pressure on the umbilical cord and is likely to keep the baby safe until you receive medical attention.
Even if you are released by the medical professional, it is recommended to continue to monitor yourself for hours, days, weeks, and months for symptoms indicating a problem. The following are some of the conditions you need to be careful about:
- Swelling in your fingers or face
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Pain in your shoulder areas or abdomen
- Increased vaginal discharge or a leakage of fluid
- Persistent vomiting that has nothing to do with morning sickness
- Severe, constant headaches
- A noticeable change in the baby’s movement
- Chills or a fever
- Faintness or dizziness
- Urgent and painful urination
If you experience any of these conditions even months after the car accident, immediately get medical attention to seek further treatment. It is very important to remember that even a minor accident can lead to high-risk pregnancy, premature birth, or worse, miscarriage. You may even require to visit a perinatologist or maternal-fetal specialist apart from your regular doctor. These are doctors specialized in high-risk pregnancies.
When to Hire an Attorney if You’ve Been in a Car Accident While Pregnant
Pregnant drivers are likely to have more car crashes. ~ Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Any pregnant woman involved and injured in a car crash should ideally seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney, especially if she experiences any of the conditions mentioned above. High-risk pregnancies need additional medical care and will therefore incur additional cost. In fact, their costs usually outweigh the cost of a normal pregnancy by a large extend.
A personal injury attorney will help you file your claim and also help you recoup these costs. And unfortunately, if you have had a miscarriage, a lawyer can not only help you claim compensation for the loss but also help you deal with the agonizing and heart-breaking experience with professional legal counsel.
In short, you need a personal injury attorney protect you and your unborn baby’s rights by pursuing legal action against the at-fault party. Depending upon your situation, an attorney can assist you recover financial damages to compensate for medical expenses, loss of income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
How to Prevent a Car Accident While Pregnant
Never trade safety for comfort when driving while pregnant. A three-point seatbelt, for example, can be often uncomfortable but it will surely keep you and your baby safe from the impact in case of a car crash.
Also, follow other safe driving tips when you are driving or riding a car while pregnant. And if you have been involved in a car crash, never take things for granted. Even if there is no visible injury, visit the emergency room soon after the accident and get yourself examined to ensure that your baby isn’t physically hurt. Remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Author: Rachel Oliver is a freelance writer from Florida, who loves to write about topics like personal injury law, automobile accidents law, and medical negligence law. Currently, she is writing on behalf of a civil trial attorney, Christopher Jayson, Founder at JFSW Law. He has tremendous trial experience in cases involving automobile, truck and motorcycle accidents, inadequate security and premise liability, products liability, medical malpractice, and commercial litigation.
Many people choose fashion over safety when driving. A survey commissioned by price comparison website Confused.com found that 40 percent of women drive in high heels, 39 percent wear flip flops and 24 percent prefer bare feet. Sixteen percent also admitted to driving in slippers while only 34 percent said they drove in sensible shoes.
A simulator study has shown that moving the foot between the brake and the pedal in high heels was 0.13 seconds slower. This could be the difference between braking with enough space or colliding into the back of another vehicle. In addition, 10 percent of people admit that they’ve had their flip-flop get stuck underneath the pedal. With all this in mind, it’s about time we all make better decisions on footwear when driving and not let how we want to look cloud our judgment.
What Is the Safest Footwear to Drive in?
The best footwear for driving is a comfortable, flat, rubber-soled shoe — something that gives you traction and easy mobility between pedals. Wearing sensible footwear to drive doesn’t mean you have to pass up on looking good, though. An on-trend pair of Vans sneakers are perfect to drive in while still keeping your feet stylish.
Options Besides Wearing Heels When Driving
If you just can’t go without heels, an innovative designer has come up with an answer for you. A conceptual footwear design from Sheila’s Wheels, called the Sheila Driving Heel, is a comfortable, flat driving shoe that converts into a glamorous pair of heels at the push of a button, thanks to a folding stiletto. Now you can have the best of both worlds!
If you have that perfect pedicure you just need to show off at all times, Sheila’s Wheels has also come up with a flip-flop add-on that ensures you can drive safely. The specially designed flip-flop straps fit snugly over your flip-flop, giving you more support at the heel and more traction to the pedal. This accessory can easily be scrunched up a fitted into a handbag or your glove compartment for when you need it.
What About Driving Barefoot?
Many people think it’s fine to just take off their heels when driving, but this still doesn’t eliminate safety concerns. Driving barefoot is not considered safe as your foot can easily slip off the pedal due to perspiration. Pressing down on the pedals also causes a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot and could cause cramping.
Even though there aren’t any laws preventing you from driving barefoot (this is a common myth), it doesn’t mean it’s a good way to drive. If you want to be totally safe, ensure you have appropriate driving shoes. The best way is to stay prepared and plan ahead. Always keep a pair of sturdy driving shoes in your vehicle. Don’t wait till you have an accident to make changes.
Every parent gets a bit nervous when their teenager starts to drive. Even if you know your child is a careful driver, you will always have that thought at the back of your mind that they might become distracted while driving with friends and end up in a fender-bender.
One of the biggest risks of distraction is often posed by their passengers, especially when these consist of their teenage friends. Teens can easily get distracted when their friends are in the back, and this can be dangerous for all of them.
Here’s a guide to what your teenage child and their friends should know to reduce distractions caused by passengers. Share and discuss these points with your teen driver.
Explain to them that the dangers are real:
According to the New York State Department of Health website, for teens aged 15 to 19 years, motor vehicle crashes are the main cause of hospitalizations and unintentional deaths in the state (73 deaths a year).
Importantly, it also states that teen passengers have a greater chance of being seriously injured when another teen is driving the vehicle.
Seat belts are a must:
Remind your teen child and their friends to always buckle-up when behind the wheel. Seat belts save lives. Without them, a relatively minor accident could be severe. The New York State Department of Health claims that they cut the risk of serious injuries by anything from 50 to 83 percent. The CDC also has some interesting stats on seat belts and injuries.
Speed is deadly:
One of the biggest causes of crashes in teen drivers is speeding. Teens are particularly at risk because they are not only less experienced, but they may want to show off to their friends. Teach your child about the risks of speeding and make sure they know how dangerous it can be. Remind them not to feel pressured to drive fast just to show off to their friends.
One way to get through to them could be to remind them that they are liable if they cause a crash that results in injury to another driver or pedestrian. The injured driver may want to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, and this is something your child will clearly want to avoid. You can also discuss the emotions of how your teen might feel if they were to hit a pedestrian or child while speeding – once they register the severity of the emotional consequences for their self and the family of injured, they will likely be more conscious of their decisions behind the wheel.
Take care when driving at night:
Driving at night can also be more dangerous, so you may want to restrict your child’s driving to daylight hours until you both are confident in their driving abilities. If you are buying them their first car, you can make this a condition that they have to follow.
Educate your teen’s friends on passenger etiquette:
Teen passengers causing distractions can present serious risks to everyone in the vehicle. Although it may not be easy to educate your child’s friends on the risks, try to remind them when they head out and your child is driving. If you know their parents, you could also suggest that they all teach their children about the dangers.
In fact, it may be best if your child does not carry teenage passengers who fail to follow proper passenger etiquette. Perhaps you can make that a condition of paying for their driving lessons or car, etc.
Help Your Teen to Drive Safer
Every parent worries about their teenage children driving on the roads. As long as you teach them the rules of the road and do everything you can to educate them—and their friends—on the dangers, they will be at less risk.
By Anna Burke: Anna Burke has worked in various roles within the auto industry for many years. Now semi-retired she uses her knowledge combined with current events to write articles. She has discovered a new passion she didn’t know existed until very recently but is thoroughly enjoying connecting with others through her writing.
Drivers face many hazards on the road, most of which involve other drivers. However, there is another hazard that you need to be aware of every time you get behind the wheel – wildlife. Not only do accidents seriously hurt and kill countless animals, but accidents involving wildlife also pose serious risks to the driver and passengers of the vehicle.
The Federal Highway Administration published a study claiming that there are between 1 million and 2 million collisions each year involving animals including deer, elk, and moose. One potential risk of animals on the road is when a driver cannot stop in time to avoid an impact and instead swerves to miss the animal. This can sometimes lead the vehicle to head off the road or to collide with a vehicle coming in the other direction. Another serious risk posed by collisions with large animals, like elk, is that they can cause injury to the driver and passengers. Even if the driver does not receive an injury, the vehicle can still be damaged beyond repair if such a collision occurs at speed.
When damage or injury occurs, it is nearly always the drivers fault. While law firms like Holliday Karatinos Law Firm see many cases of victims of accidents claiming damages from another driver who was responsible for an accident, this is not the case with wildlife.
How to Reduce the Chances of a Run-in with Wildlife on the Road
Because of the risks to drivers and passengers, as well as the obvious distress that a collision can cause to the animals, we should all do our best to avoid accidents in the first place.
The Humane Society provides a number of tips to drive safer and avoid causing harm to the wildlife on our roads. You should be careful at all times when driving on the roads, but be especially careful to avoid colliding with wildlife when you are driving in rural areas.
One of the most important of the recommendations made is to stick to the speed limit. When an animal jumps out in front of your car, you have a much greater chance of being able to avoid a collision when you are traveling at a sensible speed.
Take special caution when you are driving alongside fields or woods because these roads are where the majority of collisions take place. Keep a particularly close watch on the edges of the roads. You may spot animals preparing to cross the road, and as a result you can slow down in time.
You should also take particular care when driving in the mornings and evenings because this is when animals are most likely to be active. Drive safely, eliminate distractions and you’ll minimize the chances of hitting a furry friend.
The high costs of texting while driving, how it delays your reaction and can contribute to accidents.
Via: Rida Maqbool Connect with her on Twitter @
Although unexpected, it happens to the best of us. We end up in an accident in a parking lot. Here’s how to avoid this unpleasant situation and what to do if it does happen.
Always Be On The Lookout
Looking in front of you, to the sides, and behind you can prevent an accident. If you’re pulling out of a parking space, just look. Spend an extra 2 or 3 seconds scanning all around, making sure no one is there.
You can’t see little kids who happen to walk behind your vehicle. So, you should wait a few seconds to make sure there’s no one behind you before backing out. If you’re pulling in, give a quick scan to the area to make sure no one is trying to pull through a parking space into the one you’re going after.
Park Far Away From the Building
If you park far away from the building you want to go in, there’s less chance that you’ll hit someone on the way in or out. Don’t circle spots in front of the building like a hawk. Everyone else is doing that. You’ll only waste your own time, as well as others’. And, you’ll burn up fuel in the process.
Safety first. It’s incredible that some people don’t buckle up, but it happens – a lot. If you’re one of those people, please reconsider. It takes a second to do and it can save your life.
Use Your Turn Signal
That little stalk on the left side of your steering wheel has a purpose. It’s meant to signal others where you’re going. Use it. In a big city, it’s common for people to not use their signal, and this is how accidents happen. Actually, they shouldn’t be called accidents because this is something that’s totally preventable.
A quick flick, and you’ll instantly let people know where you intend to turn. And, signals can alert people that you want a particular parking space. It’s like “calling it” out on the road. It can dissuade others from stealing your spot but primarily it’s a great way to just prevent an accidental or absent-minded collision.
What To Do If It Happens
OK, so you’ve been in an accident. Here’s what you should do. First, make sure everyone is OK – including the other party. Now, contact the police. Then your insurance company. You’ll want to file a police report to make sure everything is in writing.
Your insurance company will want to know the details of the accident, including the other driver’s information. If you were involved in an accident with a truck, contact truck accident lawyers to get an idea of your legal responsibilities, liability potential and your rights.
Make sure you take pictures of everything as soon as it happens, too. Don’t let the other party move their vehicle before you gather up the evidence. Unfortunately, when the other person is at fault, it’s common for them to want to hide the evidence.
Take notes, and make sure you get at least their name, if not their contact and insurance information.
By Archie Lowe : Archie Lowe has been retired for 5 years after working most of his life as a Paramedic for the EMS. He blogs to raise awareness of accidents and how to prevent them to stay safe on the roads.
Daytona Speedway saw one of its most horrific crashes at the Coke Zero 400 in July when Austin Dillon’s car clipped the wall at the finish line and sailed into the crash fence, injuring five fans. Dillon walked away from the crash, but events like these are sobering reminders of how far we still have to go with auto safety—both in NASCAR and on the civilian streets.
An 850 horsepower NASCAR and the Toyota Camry you drive to work aren’t mutually exclusive when it comes to safety. Many of the technologies that keep us secure on America’s streets and highways started in a stock car lab, where engineers and crew members designed features to protect drivers under the most extreme conditions (and NASCAR has seen some very extreme conditions). That same engineering saved Austin Dillon’s life in July, and they could save yours in even the mildest collision.
1. Fuel Cells
Most people think fuel cells and relate it to something in science fiction, but fuel cells are nothing more than gas tanks, and they’ve come a long way. Until 1964, fuel cells were just welded metal containers that would leak after a crash and risk a fire or explosion. But when was the last time you saw a car catch fire after a crash, NASCAR or otherwise? Fuel cells are now reinforced with a rubber bladder and foam to absorb the shock of a crash and reduce the chance of leaks. After a series of fires from races in the early 60s, the metal gas tanks of the past were finally obsolete.
Blowouts were another issue plaguing drivers in the 1960s. They were even causing fatalities at high speeds, so designers at Goodyear went to work on an internal lining that would protect the walls of a tire and prevent blowouts at high speeds and during sharp turns. That same technology is now standard in even the cheapest tires we buy at the body shop and save possibly thousands of lives every year.
3. Better Seats
Your mid-size sedan may not have standard racing seats, but the comforts you take for granted started in racing. After NASCAR figured out how to make fuel cells and tires safer, they turned efforts to better seats. Drivers were experiencing terrible whiplash during collisions, and the mandatory padded head rest was born in the 70s and 80s (where it was greatly improved). Even the smallest fender bender can leave your neck in pain for weeks, and much of that is avoided with a simple head rest.
4. Crumple Zones
Baby boomers and older generations look back on the “golden age” of cars that were made with “real American steel” and not “plastic from China.” There’s no doubt that American classic cars are some of the most beautiful machines ever engineered, but they also got drivers killed.
“Crumple zones” are areas of the vehicle that classic car enthusiasts might label as cheap because its designed to, as the name suggests, crumple upon impact, absorbing as much shock as possible to protect the driver. NASCAR stock cars are surrounded by crumple zones to absorb high-impact crashes, and regular cars on the road use the same technology.
source: Social Monsters