It’s a simple fact: Everything else being equal, the more massive and the faster a moving object strikes a less massive, slower-moving object the more momentum energy there is on the side of the first object to come out ahead during an impact. It’s basic football physics.
With cars today, however, everything else is not equal because thankfully a lot of research goes into the design of crumple zones in vehicles to help decrease the impact forces and increase the survivability of a vehicle’s occupants.
Crumple Zone Basics
A crumple zone, also known as a crush zone, is a structural feature found not just in highway guardrails and barriers, but also in modern automobiles designed to deform and crumple in a controlled manner during a collision. The primary purpose of crumple zones is to absorb and dissipate the kinetic energy generated during a crash, reducing the impact forces experienced by the occupants of the vehicle.
Key features of crumple zones include:
- Material Design: Crumple zones are typically constructed using materials that can deform easily, such as certain types of steel or aluminum. These materials are chosen for their ability to absorb and distribute energy.
- Structural Design: The design of the vehicle incorporates specific areas that are engineered to deform in a predictable manner during a collision. This controlled deformation helps to slow down the deceleration of the vehicle and reduce the severity of the impact on the occupants.
- Front and Rear Locations: Crumple zones are commonly found at the front and rear of vehicles, as these are the areas most likely to be impacted in a collision. Some vehicles also have side-impact crumple zones to enhance safety during side collisions.
- Collision Sensors: In many modern vehicles, sensors are used to detect the severity of a collision and trigger safety features, such as airbags, as well as to optimize the deformation of the crumple zones.
By absorbing and dissipating energy, crumple zones help to prevent or reduce injuries to the occupants of the vehicle during a collision. This engineering approach is an important aspect of vehicle safety design and has contributed to the overall improvement in crashworthiness and occupant protection in modern automobiles.
Tesla Cybertruck Crash Test Questioned
The origin of this today’s topic is a recent AI DRIVR YouTube video that explains some of the information and misinformation the public has been fed when it comes to just how dangerous the Tesla Cybertruck is due to not just its size and weight, but in its overall design when it comes to crash tests.
Although I am not a Cybertruck fan, I encourage everyone to watch the video and see just how some video footage is misleading and the way it has been used to both defend and admonish the Tesla Cybertruck. In the video below, the host offers one of the most commonsense takes on the Cybertruck that is well worth listening to whether you are a Tesla fan or not.
In the video you will discover:
- Video crash test comparisons can be misleading.
- Why you should not generally treat X (Twitter) as a reliable news source.
- Did Tesla engineers forget about crumple zones with the Cybertruck?
- What is the worst-case crash scenario?
- That the Cybertruck truly is dangerous…but it is not alone.
- That there are worse vehicle owners than diehard “anything goes” Tesla Cybertruck fans.
- One of the most common ways out of control crashes occur.
Cybertruck Crash Test is Horrifying, Here’s Why
What I liked about the video is that…it…makes…sense. Heavy Duty Ford, Dodge Rams, Hummer and other similar vehicle makes and models are just as dangerous as a Cybertruck, and the public is ill-prepared (or is it ill-protected) to be exposed to these vehicles on the roadways and highways.
Does a truck need to weigh 7,000 pounds or more and be capable of accelerating from 0-60 in just under 3 seconds?! Why are vehicles like this not regulated like top fuel dragsters?
I like speed. I like power. I like tech. There is a time and a place for everything, but the Cybertruck and its ilk do not really belong on the streets. Or does this just make too much sense?!
For additional articles related to road safety, here are three for your consideration:
- Most Unsafe Cars, SUVs, and Trucks with The Worst Crash Test Scores
- Consumer Reports Discusses When Your Car’s Lawsuit Avoidance Safety Feature Fails
- Best Cars for Teens Recommended by Consumer Reports
Timothy Boyer is an automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on “Zen and the Art of DIY Car Repair” website, the Zen Mechanic blog and on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.
Image source: Deposit Photos