Man talking on phone with damaged car in the background.

What Is The Crumple Zone and Why Does It Matter?

Cars are designed to crash. That is to say, they have certain areas that are engineered to absorb the force of impact in a collision and reduce injuries for passengers inside the vehicle. This helps make crashes slower (which is good for decreasing damage) and has a huge impact on car crash survivability. To understand how this works, we need to look at how your car’s crumple zone can save your life.

Folding In

Nearly all four-wheeled cars have a crumple zone in the front and rear of the frame. When impacted (by another vehicle or a solid object), these parts of the car are not designed to resist the force of impact. Reinforcing the frame actually increases injuries in a crash. Rather, the crumple zone is specially designed to collapse and fold on itself like an accordion.

This is basic physics. The longer it takes for a car to stop in a crash, the less damage is transferred to the people inside the vehicle. Currently, a really well-designed crumple zone can decrease the force of a front or rear-end collision by up to 25%! Best of all, new engineering advances are making these frames more effective and saving lives.

Fatal Impact

The key to a crumple zone is having material to fold. The front and rear of the car put a lot of space between the source of impact and the passengers. The same cannot be said of the sides of the vehicle.

Typically, the car's sides resist just 5% of the force of impact in a t-bone collision. While side airbags can significantly reduce the risk of death in these kinds of crashes, very little can be done to reinforce the sides of the vehicle without creating additional risk.

A good crumple zone can reduce the risk of injuries in some crashes. However, high-speed collisions or those with an extremely heavy vehicle (like a semi-truck) can still cause severe or fatal injuries. For that reason, anyone injured in a crash should consult an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible.

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a car crash crash, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Amarillo car accident attorney from Wood Law Firm LLP, please send us an email or call (806) 304-0447.