The Physics of a Car Crash

And how cars have become safer

The Physics of a Car Crash

By: Jake Themely, Journalist

Cars are very powerful and create a lot of energy while moving. The method of slowing down a car is usually by braking, which is done using the brakes. However, all that energy needs to go somewhere, and that is done when the brakes of a car convert the energy into heat. In a car crash, there is a similar process. All the energy is sent into whatever is being crashed into, and this ends very badly for the person driving the car. For a long time, cars were built in a very rigid way. This meant that whenever the car crashed, all the energy of a moving car would stop abruptly, which would most likely end the life of the driver. However, over the last few decades, car manufacturers smartly realized that it is a much better idea to have a car with crumply bodies and a rigid bumper. This would allow the energy to dissipate much slower, greatly increasing the chances of the driver surviving.

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