"How did anyone survive?" Car manufacturers make huge strides in safety technology

PHOENIX - We see it all the time. The wrong-way crash on the Loop 101 near Guadalupe Road Friday was ugly.  

And remember the police chase and crash January 24? It ended with the driver of a Jeep out walking around after rolling several times.

You may think how does anyone survive such wreckage?

"Within nanoseconds when there's an impact those sensors will send those airbags deploying," said Frank Leutz from Desert Car Care in Chandler.

Leutz said in some newer cars there are a lot of airbags. Gone are the days when they're just in the steering wheel and dash. They're now in the seats also.

"On some vehicles there's actually a curtain bag that will drop and that's designed to keep the head from bobbing around," Leutz said.

It virtually encases you in a bubble. But you can't just credit the airbags.

"Steel has become lighter weight but a lot stronger," Leutz said. "What manufacturers are doing is they're taking lightweight aluminum in the front and making crumple zones out of that lightweight steel."

That's to absorb the impact in a crash. Leutz said new age sensor technology continues to evolve to prevent some crashes altogether. But he says really, it's about responsibility.

"Most vehicles are built pretty safe," he said. "It's our behavior we have to pay attention to."

Like texting or doing anything that distracts you. Or, like in many of these wrong way crashes, drunk driving.

 

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