When did cars start good safety features?

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Cody
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When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Cody »

My granddaughter is looking for a used car with limit resources. That said how far back should she go to fine a car that has the safety features, as standard, that would be important? I have once read here 2012 but could not find the link.

And which featuresbought on at that time are most important?

Thanks
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by JoeRetire »

Seatbelts became standard in 1964.
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Cody
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Cody »

Ha Ha! I'm talking about safety features that are "the least you would want:"
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Normchad »

There are probably a lot of different opinions about which safety features are important, and which are nice to have.

For me, 2012 sounds about right. I think the most significant safety features have been seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control. I think those were all standard by 2012. Improved body structures have also been a huge improvement, although its not something obvious. I think most cars from 2012 onward would fall in the good enough category there.

Stuff that came afterwards and is worthwhile but maybe not as necessary, are backup cameras, automatic emergency braking, etc.

I would personally be comfortable putting my kid in a 2012 Honda Accord, even assuming as a new driver they were likely to be in an accident.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Nate79 »

It really depends on the make and model. Our 2010 Forester had all those key safety features already as standard.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by miamivice »

My 2016 Subaru Outback has eyesight, which applies the brakes to avoid a rear end collision when necessary. I would never buy another car without that feature.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by noumenon »

I'm currently in the market for a new car and am paying a lot of attention to safety. One feature I definitely want is Automatic Emergency Breaking, which has for example been a standard feature on Toyota Corollas since 2017.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:24 pm Ha Ha! I'm talking about safety features that are "the least you would want:"
Safety belts were mandated by federal law in 1968

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seat_belt ... 0positions.

All other safety features are "also rans" by comparison.

Most meaningful safety features are below the skin. Energy absorbing crumple zones, collapsable steering column, Planned engine movement in a crash (goes under the cabin) have been around for quite a while.

I'm fine buying cars from 25 years ago from a safety standpoint.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by gwe67 »

The most important safety feature is yet to come...when humans can no longer operate vehicles. Crash rates will drop to near nothing. Congestion will drop tremendously. Fuel efficiency will increase. Emissions and noise will decrease.

And we can all check Bogleheads as the robots drive us around.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by jt90505 »

"...I think the most significant safety features have been seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control..."

08 Accord has all of above standard.

It also does *not* have a touchscreen display that requires you to take your eyes off the road when modifying settings.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Cody »

Yes unfortunately she had her second accident in the first year of driving. Both "might" have been prevented or mitigated with better safety features. She has lots to learn about better driving and, as grandparents, we of course worry about future possiblitlies. She is taken a special course on better driving (partially because of insurance) but still is a yound inexperince driver who may need the safety features we didn't have in 1965 (like no seat beats and very hard dashboards.

So anyway it is always that balance between safety and money for a young person (as it is for most of us).

Stabilization is about 2012 I think and appears to be something to get.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Cody »

Really 2008 on the Accord.

This info is invaluable.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Normchad »

Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:57 pm Yes unfortunately she had her second accident in the first year of driving. Both "might" have been prevented or mitigated with better safety features. She has lots to learn about better driving and, as grandparents, we of course worry about future possiblitlies. She is taken a special course on better driving (partially because of insurance) but still is a yound inexperince driver who may need the safety features we didn't have in 1965 (like no seat beats and very hard dashboards.

So anyway it is always that balance between safety and money for a young person (as it is for most of us).

Stabilization is about 2012 I think and appears to be something to get.
It was available earlier, although not super common. Not sure when it became standard. Here is an excerpt from a literature review regarding its effectiveness.

Results: The overwhelming majority of studies find that ESC is highly effective in reducing single-vehicle crashes in cars and SUVs. Fatal single-vehicle crashes involving cars are reduced by about 30-50% and SUVs by 50-70%. Fatal rollover crashes are estimated to be about 70-90% lower with ESC regardless of vehicle type. A number of studies find improved effectiveness in reducing crashes when road conditions are slippery. There is little or no effect of ESC in all multi-vehicle crashes; however, there is a 17-38% reduction in more serious, fatal multi-vehicle crashes.

Conclusions: Given the extraordinary benefits of ESC in preventing crashes, especially those with more serious outcomes, the implementation of ESC should be accelerated to cover the full range of passenger vehicles in both developed and developing markets.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by delamer »

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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by hi_there »

It depends on the specific car. I had a 2010 Honda that did not have a backup camera, while many cars of that model year did have this feature. Just make sure whatever car you buy has the safety features that you consider to be important.

For a concerned grandparent, and really anyone nowadays, it seems worthwhile to get a car that has active safety (pre collision braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, etc.). Most cars of 2018 or later years will have these as standard, and they are usually options on slightly older cars. Who knows, if the driver is really accident prone, maybe these will even pay for themselves through accident avoidance.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by FireSekr »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:34 pm It really depends on the make and model. Our 2010 Forester had all those key safety features already as standard.
This.

My 98 BMW 3 has all of these…front and passenger front and side impact airbags, ABS, stability control etc.

But you need to look at the structure of the car too. How strong the chassis is and how well engineered the crumple zones are cannot be found by looking at a feature list.

Aside from crash test ratings, another factor that can illustrate how strong a cars structure is torsional rigidity. It’s not directly correlated to safety, but it can help you understand how strong the car is. Usually more expensive materials and more expensive manufacturing techniques are needed to increase the rigidity.

To show you how much structure have advanced over time, and even in the same time period but different price categories of vehicles, heres some examples. If the torsional rigidity of my 98 BMW 3 is 10,900. A BMW 5 series from the same year is 24,000. That is a massive difference and it is largely because more expensive cars are able to take advantage of better materials and manufacturing process (more welds). The BMW 3 series had lower torsional than the 98 5 series up until 2012 when the 3 series got to 29,000.

If you look at the Honda Accord, it took them until 2013 to get to the same level of rigidity that BMW was at with the 5 series in 1998. The 2013 accord is at 23.3k so still slightly under the 98 BMW 5 but close.

Like I said torsional rigidity doesn’t automatically mean safety, but it is an indication of how strong the vehicle is built and the quality of the materials.
Last edited by FireSekr on Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

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This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by hi_there »

FireSekr wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:20 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:34 pm It really depends on the make and model. Our 2010 Forester had all those key safety features already as standard.
This.

My 98 BMW 3 has all of these…front and passenger front and side impact airbags, ABS, stability control etc.
When is it an apples-apples comparison? Would a 1998 car with such features have the same real world safety as a 2010 car that checks the same boxes? Is the side airbag standard in 1998 the same as 2010? Asking because I don't really know, but it seems that there will be something missing, since crash test standards change constantly, in addition to whatever crash tests and requirements that the consumer doesn't see but the NHTSA adds over time.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Da5id »

This is totally subjective, and subject to feature creep. My next car will have automatic braking. What is "good"?
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by FireSekr »

hi_there wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:23 pm
FireSekr wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:20 pm
Nate79 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:34 pm It really depends on the make and model. Our 2010 Forester had all those key safety features already as standard.
This.

My 98 BMW 3 has all of these…front and passenger front and side impact airbags, ABS, stability control etc.
When is it an apples-apples comparison? Would a 1998 car with such features have the same real world safety as a 2010 car that checks the same boxes? Is the side airbag standard in 1998 the same as 2010? Asking because I don't really know, but it seems that there will be something missing, since crash test standards change constantly, in addition to whatever crash tests and requirements that the consumer doesn't see but the NHTSA adds over time.
It depends. I edited my post above to talk more about torsional rigidity which is one of the things we can measure to determine the strength of the vehicle. It’s one of the few things we as consumers can get details on, but not a direct measure of safety.

But some vehicles in 1998 I would absolutely put up against a 2012 accord. A 98 Mercedes s class is a tank and one of the most over engineered cars ever built. I would much rather be driving that than a 2012 civic or accord. On the other hand, from a safety perspective I’d take the accord or civic any day over my 98 BMW 3. It’s not so much that the airbags are better, but the chassis are stronger and the crumple zones are more advanced.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

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Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:15 pm My granddaughter is looking for a used car with limit resources. That said how far back should she go to fine a car that has the safety features, as standard, that would be important? I have once read here 2012 but could not find the link.

And which featuresbought on at that time are most important?

Thanks
2012 was when ESC became required as standard equipment but a lot of cars, especially higher end cars, had it before then. ESC is a very good safety feature to have.

It was also about in 2012 when they started doing a new side offset crash test that a lot of cars did not do well in so some manufactures improved the car designs.

A lot of the new advanced safety features were introduced in higher end models first and some higher trim levels before they became widely available.

In 2018 Toyota made a lot of advanced safety features standard equipment but the Yaris did not get all of them.

The used car market is brutal right now and here are a lot of threads about that. I had a 2018 Corolla and I was getting offers for it which were higher than I paid for it when it was new, excluding tax and licence.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by snackdog »

Cadillac and Buick were offered with airbags in 1974!
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by quantAndHold »

Normchad wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:28 pm There are probably a lot of different opinions about which safety features are important, and which are nice to have.

For me, 2012 sounds about right. I think the most significant safety features have been seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control. I think those were all standard by 2012. Improved body structures have also been a huge improvement, although its not something obvious. I think most cars from 2012 onward would fall in the good enough category there.

Stuff that came afterwards and is worthwhile but maybe not as necessary, are backup cameras, automatic emergency braking, etc.

I would personally be comfortable putting my kid in a 2012 Honda Accord, even assuming as a new driver they were likely to be in an accident.
Seatbelts, air bags, antilock brakes, and ESC would be my minimum too. The last of that group became federally mandated in 2012, I believe, but my 2005 Mazda3 has all of that stuff, too.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by acegolfer »

I'm buying a car that I'll pass to my teenage kid in a few years. The minimum safety/comfort features I'm shopping for is automatic emergency braking, lane centering, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control. Starting 2019, many cars have them as option. Now in 2021, many cars have these as standard.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by JoeRetire »

Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:24 pm Ha Ha! I'm talking about safety features that are "the least you would want:"
Unless you define which particular safety features interest you, I don't see how you could get a useful answer.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by SmileyFace »

Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:58 pm Really 2008 on the Accord.

This info is invaluable.
Does the 08 have a backup camera? Some would call that an invaluable safety feature (including our Govt since they are now required on all new cars).
I think the problem with your question is everyone will have a different opinion on what the necessary safety features are (sure - airbags and antilock brakes and maybe traction control - but what about sensors and auto-braking). Also - other thing of note with your question - as the years have gone by the upper trim line vehicles may have more safety features than the lower trim line vehicles (eg - backup cameras first existed on upper trim lines before becoming standard - your 08 Accord may have one on an upper trim line but not on the lower; as you go back years same for antilock brakes, etc. Fast forward to today and its true for auto-braking)
Last edited by SmileyFace on Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

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Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:15 pmThat said how far back should she go to fine a car that has the safety features, as standard, that would be important? I have once read here 2012 but could not find the link.
There probably wasn't a link. The majority of commentary on safety features on Bogleheads is arbitrary: We each have our opinions on what is acceptable. I had no qualms about driving a nearly 20 year old compact car. I replaced it recently mainly because the reliability was waning. Others are horrified at the idea.

Limited resources define what is practical. Expectations need to be kept realistic.

If in doubt, the safe driving class is perhaps the most important safety investment she could make. A formal class is not the only way to attain good driving skills, although if she's had two accidents within a year, I more strongly lean in the direction of a class being a really good idea.

Insurance rates, which are based in large part on estimates of risk of payout, can vary by something like 5x depending on driver specific factors like accident history, age, and gender. There is no vehicle safety feature that comes close to that level of benefit. Someone posted estimates upthread of the level of benefit expected from electronic stability control, for example. I think that's an interesting comparison. Furthermore, it stands to reason that the reduction in likelihood or severity of accidents with electronic stability control occurs mainly among those who, whether intentionally or not, push the limits of the available traction and leave the least margin for error. Those who are habitually attentive to their driving, assess road conditions, adjust their driving accordingly, and even in good conditions are conservative about speed, following distance, and other factors are less likely to ever trigger activation of the ESC or have an accident that could have been prevented by having the system.

So I think it's commendable for her to take the course. If the insurance company is pushing it, it will probably also pay for itself in saved premiums, which ultimately will give her more options for what she can afford for some future car.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Have her take the Street Survival course, offered around the country.

https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirera ... vival.html

As an HPDE (high performance driving education) instructor, I observed new students who all had poor driving skill at the beginning of the day improve dramatically with proper instruction and the ability to experience what the car does in controlled conditions. Most people who would rate themselves as excellent drivers (bring in Rain Man) are poor drivers. The course can help. Moving on to participate in autocrosses increases skills with more practice.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by andypanda »

Fwiw, seat belts were mandatory in 1964.

"Manufacturers weren't required to install seat belts until 1964, and those were just lap belts for the front seats"
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by SaveMor »

There's been an evolution in car safety technology over the years, with the focus changing from protecting the occupants of the car in the event if an accident (seat belts, air bags, chasis materials and design, etc) to preventing accidents from happening (anti lock brakes, back up cameras, stability control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking). The next step in the evolution is toward automation.

Car manufacturers learned that people liked and are willing to pay for the safety technology. The sensors used in some of the accident prevention features are often applicable to more than one safety feature, so manufacturers began bundling the safety features and making them both common and standard across their vehicle lines.

I found that 2017 was the year that Toyota/Lexus bundled a lot of these as standard in a number of their cars, eg Lexus Safety System Plus.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Cody »

I understand that it is subjective, but still a fair question find out whats available and then pic from the bunch. Again if she unlimited resources I would not ask this question.

Great discussion for me (and her).
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by mervinj7 »

Cody wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:19 am I understand that it is subjective, but still a fair question find out whats available and then pic from the bunch. Again if she unlimited resources I would not ask this question.

Great discussion for me (and her).
If she's already been in a couple of accidents, get her a car with automatic braking. I've been rear-ended twice and both accidents could have been easily avoided with one.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by 02nz »

Some have already mentioned the importance of how car structures have been engineered to better protect occupants in a crash. This doesn't show up on a feature list, but definitely look at the IIHS test results for any model/model year to see their ratings (scale of poor, marginal, average, good) for various tests. These are considerably more rigorous than the tests done by the government (NHTSA) and have even driven significant improvements in crash safety. Some models from 15 years ago do quite well even by today's standards, while others are clearly to be avoided.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by lazydavid »

hi_there wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:23 pm When is it an apples-apples comparison? Would a 1998 car with such features have the same real world safety as a 2010 car that checks the same boxes? Is the side airbag standard in 1998 the same as 2010? Asking because I don't really know, but it seems that there will be something missing, since crash test standards change constantly, in addition to whatever crash tests and requirements that the consumer doesn't see but the NHTSA adds over time.
The airbags are probably close enough from a real-world effectiveness perspective. But the ESC is worlds different. The DSC (BMW's name for it at the time) on my 2000 3-series was a safety hazard that I disabled every time I started the car, and I assume the system in the '98 (one generation older) was even worse.

By contrast, the ESC on my 2011 3-series works just fine, and I only turn it off when I want to play around, or if the roads are uniformly slick.
Last edited by lazydavid on Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by squirm »

Vehicle safety increases, but it's offset by all the distractions now. We all know everyone plays on their phone while driving.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Da5id »

squirm wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:06 am Vehicle safety increases, but it's offset by all the distractions now. We all know everyone plays on their phone while driving.
Umm, not everyone. But yes, I see people drifting around their lanes while using their cell phones.

That seems to be an argument for the importance of advanced safety features (lane guide assist, front collision braking, lane change assist, whatever). Mind you those features may make people even more complacent. But my next car will clearly have them.

For OP, as you said in an update it is all about best safety for a given (and limited) budget, not best possible safety. So some affordable combination of best crash avoidance features (ABS, traction control systems, etc) and crash survival features (airbags, car construction, car size/mass). I don't have much insight as to how to identify that optimum...
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by ClevrChico »

My 2009 Honda has the important ones to me - Side impact protection and full side curtain airbags. I can't imagine driving a car without these.

I wish it had a backup camera, but that can largely be mitigated by backing into parking spots.

The collision avoidance tech now available is appealing, and I definitely want it on my next car.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by RickBoglehead »

ClevrChico wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:30 am My 2009 Honda has the important ones to me - Side impact protection and full side curtain airbags. I can't imagine driving a car without these.

I wish it had a backup camera, but that can largely be mitigated by backing into parking spots.

The collision avoidance tech now available is appealing, and I definitely want it on my next car.
A backup camera can easily be added to any vehicle. Not the same quality perhaps. You can also install sensors in the bumper.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by MrBobcat »

miamivice wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:40 pm My 2016 Subaru Outback has eyesight, which applies the brakes to avoid a rear end collision when necessary. I would never buy another car without that feature.
I used to think seat belts and airbags were good enough, then I bought my parents 2017 Outback with eyesight, definitely one of the better safety innovations to come along in a while. We have a lot of 2 lane highways, it's so nice to have the car automatically slow when coming up to a slower vehicle.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by alfaspider »

One frame of reference may be traffic deaths per year. There was a steady decline in traffic fatalities that pretty much levelled off around 2010:

https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehic ... and-rates/

Fleet age is a bit over 10 years, so I would count on these rates lagging safety improvements. So probably most cars build during this century are within a relatively acceptable margin of safety (assuming in good condition). I'd say in rough descending order of importance:

1) Seatbelts (Invented 1920s, Common 1960s+)
2) collapsible steering columns (invented in 1930s, common 1960s+)
3) Safety glass (standards from 1970s, but various attempts starting in the 1920s)
4) 3-point seatbelts (common 1970s+)
5) Crumple zone designs (invented 1950s, common 1970s+)
6) Airbags (invented 1970s, common 1990s+)
7) ABS brakes (invented 1970s, common 1990s+)
8) Stability control (invented 1980s, common late 00s)
9) Side impact and multi-airbag systems for each occupant (first available 1990s, common late 00s).
10) Backup cameras (first available 00s, common 2010+)
11) Blindspot warning/collision avoidance systems (first available late 00's, common for new cars)

Other aspects impact safety but aren't safety features per-se. For example, the handling limits on a modern car are much better, and vehicles tend to have much more predictable driving dynamics today. Also, brakes are much better than they were in the 1960s when many cars still had drum brakes on all 4 corners and some cars did not have power brakes.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by miamivice »

MrBobcat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:43 am
miamivice wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:40 pm My 2016 Subaru Outback has eyesight, which applies the brakes to avoid a rear end collision when necessary. I would never buy another car without that feature.
I used to think seat belts and airbags were good enough, then I bought my parents 2017 Outback with eyesight, definitely one of the better safety innovations to come along in a while. We have a lot of 2 lane highways, it's so nice to have the car automatically slow when coming up to a slower vehicle.
There should be serious insurance discounts for driving vehicles with collison avoidance systems. There is not to my knowledge, but the chance of a claim is greatly reduced when driving such a vehicle.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

acegolfer wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:05 am I'm buying a car that I'll pass to my teenage kid in a few years. The minimum safety/comfort features I'm shopping for is automatic emergency braking, lane centering, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control. Starting 2019, many cars have them as option. Now in 2021, many cars have these as standard.
This. Game changing features. Also, takes the stress out of long drives. I'll likely pass my palisade onto my son in a few years.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by retiringwhen »

ClevrChico wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:30 am The collision avoidance tech now available is appealing, and I definitely want it on my next car.
We in recent times have owned a 2007 4runner, 2008 Civic, 2013 Accord, 2015 Subaru Crosstrek (super-base model), 2019 Audi Q5 and a 2020 Honda Passport. Frankly, for a new driver, I would go with a more base model with ABS, full airbags and NO collision avoidance / Lane Keep Assist. In both of the newer cars, I frankly find those features to be a crutch and in some cases a nearly dangerous distraction. They are simply not good enough to actually rely upon and that includes the pricy and touted Audi system.

Instead, at most Lane Divergence warnings and/or blind spot warnings can be useful, but only as additional sensors. As long as a human is driving, they need to be in full control and most importantly fully attentive! Much of this technology adds distraction or more dangerously gives the driver a false sense of not needing to be fully attentive. Young drivers need as few distractions as possible.

BTW, I am willing to make a real $ bet with anyone that there will be zero fully autonomous (without a pilot who is ultimately responsible for the operation of the vehicle under general use conditions) cars operating in the USA for at least 15 years. The technology is simply not sufficient to make it work and the complexity is only being shown to be much higher than most engineers and dreamers can imagine.

It is at least 20 times harder to drive a car in NYC than land a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier!
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Watty
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by Watty »

miamivice wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:51 am There should be serious insurance discounts for driving vehicles with collison avoidance systems. There is not to my knowledge, but the chance of a claim is greatly reduced when driving such a vehicle.
I just replaced a 2018 Corolla, which had a lot of advanced safety features, with a 2021 Subaru Forester which has even more. My insurance went down by about 10% even though the Forester is worth abou twice what the Corolla was worth. My insurance agent said that was the Forester qualified for a 30% safety discount.
finite_difference
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by finite_difference »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:46 am One frame of reference may be traffic deaths per year. There was a steady decline in traffic fatalities that pretty much levelled off around 2010:

https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehic ... and-rates/

Fleet age is a bit over 10 years, so I would count on these rates lagging safety improvements. So probably most cars build during this century are within a relatively acceptable margin of safety (assuming in good condition). I'd say in rough descending order of importance:

1) Seatbelts (Invented 1920s, Common 1960s+)
2) collapsible steering columns (invented in 1930s, common 1960s+)
3) Safety glass (standards from 1970s, but various attempts starting in the 1920s)
4) 3-point seatbelts (common 1970s+)
5) Crumple zone designs (invented 1950s, common 1970s+)
6) Airbags (invented 1970s, common 1990s+)
7) ABS brakes (invented 1970s, common 1990s+)
8) Stability control (invented 1980s, common late 00s)
9) Side impact and multi-airbag systems for each occupant (first available 1990s, common late 00s).
10) Backup cameras (first available 00s, common 2010+)
11) Blindspot warning/collision avoidance systems (first available late 00's, common for new cars)

Other aspects impact safety but aren't safety features per-se. For example, the handling limits on a modern car are much better, and vehicles tend to have much more predictable driving dynamics today. Also, brakes are much better than they were in the 1960s when many cars still had drum brakes on all 4 corners and some cars did not have power brakes.
Great summary. I’ll also add that tires have gotten a lot better. Equip the car with Michelin Defenders and make sure to teach how to check their pressure and keep a gauge in the car to check once per month.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
finite_difference
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by finite_difference »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:49 am Have her take the Street Survival course, offered around the country.

https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirera ... vival.html

As an HPDE (high performance driving education) instructor, I observed new students who all had poor driving skill at the beginning of the day improve dramatically with proper instruction and the ability to experience what the car does in controlled conditions. Most people who would rate themselves as excellent drivers (bring in Rain Man) are poor drivers. The course can help. Moving on to participate in autocrosses increases skills with more practice.
+1.

If my kid had two accidents in one year of driving, which sounds terrifying, I’m not sure I would want them to drive.

I wouldn’t be letting them drive again without taking a driving course like this one.

Maybe I’d make them first beat Gran Turismo 6.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
livesoft
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by livesoft »

jt90505 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:52 pm "...I think the most significant safety features have been seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control..."

08 Accord has all of above standard.
1989 Nissan Maxima had those things, too.
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retiringwhen
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by retiringwhen »

livesoft wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:25 am
jt90505 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:52 pm "...I think the most significant safety features have been seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control..."

08 Accord has all of above standard.
1989 Nissan Maxima had those things, too.
If I remember right, it also had those motorized "automatic" seat belts that I hit my head on. I would not buy that car for that very reason. Bought the Honda Accord that had the stupid seatbelt connected to the door which was actually worse but could be disabled.

There was some pretty stupid "safety" features in the last 80s and early 90s.
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by H-Town »

Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:15 pm My granddaughter is looking for a used car with limit resources. That said how far back should she go to fine a car that has the safety features, as standard, that would be important? I have once read here 2012 but could not find the link.

And which featuresbought on at that time are most important?

Thanks
If you put yourself in your granddaughter's shoes, I think you would drive carefully and pay attention to the road if you'd spend your limited resources on a car. You'd know to put down your phone and drive with a lot of courtesy. Because that's your money and if you wreck your car, that's your money on the line.

That's all you need really. No fancy tech features needed.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: When did cars start good safety features?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Cody wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:57 pm Yes unfortunately she had her second accident in the first year of driving. Both "might" have been prevented or mitigated with better safety features. She has lots to learn about better driving and, as grandparents, we of course worry about future possiblitlies. She is taken a special course on better driving (partially because of insurance) but still is a yound inexperince driver who may need the safety features we didn't have in 1965 (like no seat beats and very hard dashboards.

So anyway it is always that balance between safety and money for a young person (as it is for most of us).

Stabilization is about 2012 I think and appears to be something to get.
The course is a good idea.

Given the two accidents in a year, having some skin in the game is also valuable. If she has another at fault accident, consider financial penalties and/or a loss of use. I say this from experience. I had multiple accidents in my first year of driving, and when I had to pay for one, all of a sudden I didn't have more...

Parents have to decide (and I realize you are the grandparents) when their child HAS to drive a vehicle. Neither of our children were given vehicles of their own until partway through college. They were allowed to drive family vehicles when it suited US. We moved from an age 16 state to an age 15 state, and our son was told "sorry, we're age 16". Then when he got his license, he still had to take the bus to school because there was no reason for him to have a car.

Hopefully this course will teach her some valuable skills.
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