Car Defects: The Concept of "Crashworthiness"

The most important notion in vehicle defect is “crashworthiness” – the capability of a vehicle to avoid injuries to the passengers during collision. When collision happens, the passengers are exposed to many forces that result to injuries which include rapid deceleration and acceleration, which depends on the direction of the impact of the vehicle. Crashworthiness handles the “second collision” from these forces where the driver and the passengers collide against the internal part of the vehicle.  An effective crashworthy vehicle design has the ability to distribute the injurious forces over a longer time and distance, including by leading to the parts of the vehicle that have the capability of withstanding them.

Crashworthiness is characterized with a special design to lessen the injuries of the passengers, avoid ejection from the vehicle, and lower risks of fire. It has features such as seat belts, crumple zones, and airbags, including the side impact protection.

Liability Based On “Crashworthiness”

The cause of the accident may be insignificant in crashworthiness cases but the idea can be utilized to hold the manufacturer of the vehicle responsible for the injuries sustained during the accident. Fundamentally, crashworthiness deals with how the manufacturer designed the vehicle and its components so that it is very safe to ride on, even during accidents. The vehicle’s reasonably foreseeable use extends to the possibility of collision and therefore, it is the manufacturer’s duty and responsibility to design their vehicles that is safe, even during accidents and collision. The injuries caused by the vehicle’s crashworthiness are deemed apart from the injuries caused by the accident itself. This difference proves to be hard when trying to prove your injuries and their sources, especially for medical proofs of the extent of the injury.

Just recently, there were efforts made in Congress and in some state legislatures in establishing the concept where the compliance of the government’s safety standards by the producers of the vehicles can be a strong defense to vehicle defect legal claims. However, courts continue to rule that even with the federal standards, vehicle producers have the obligation to build a vehicle that is reasonably safe using the advanced mechanical technology, vehicle design, and safety standards.

Pursuing Your Legal Claims Based on “Crashworthiness”

To obtain recovery in a legal claim based on the vehicle’s crashworthiness, you will have to prove that the design features should the capability to prevent injuries during collision or accidents. One of the effective ways of proving your claim is to show that the safety features are available and those devices r components should have been used during accidents. With an experienced and reliable lawyer, he/she will able to explain all the possible options regarding your case and with an expert vehicle design and safety consultants, options will be described and explained to you to make sure that your legal rights for compensation for your injuries is completely protected.

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