Since automotive fatalities started almost as soon as people began driving automobiles, safety devices such as seat belts, bumpers, crumple zone technology and safety restraint systems have been installed in vehicles in attempts to keep the occupants of the vehicle alive in a crash.
The first items installed on cars were simple bumpers. They could help minimize damage in a low speed accident. Many car manufacturers began building cars with stronger and stronger bumpers and more rigid frames until they eventually ended up with, "Checker Cab Syndrome". The Checker Marathon was designed to be the strongest and most reliable car ever made. It was such a strong car that when it was ran into a wall at 30 MPH the car was barely damaged. However the damage to the test dummies showed that human beings in the car would lose their heads, arms and legs!! (This was the beginning of the crumple zone which I cover On another page)
Then came seat belts. The first seat belts were just lap belts and were not the best design for those involved in higher speed accidents. The three point seat belts with safety restraint electronic lockup are much better at avoiding injuries. Earlier model seat-belts depended on a manual lockup when pulled too hard. This caused many units to fail by either not locking up in an accident or locking up when the passenger tried to pull them out to attach them. Many people do not realize that their seat-belts are an integral part of the safety restraint system. They are a monitored item in the SRS system and they are a common reason that the SRS or airbag light is on.
The Airbag- Star Of The Show!
Though the first air bag systems were patented in the 1950's, Alan Breed patented the modern airbag system in 1968. Alan's airbag system was the world's first electromechanical automotive airbag system. Since then the automotive manufacturers have made great strides in the airbag system. Though the system is very much the same system that Alan Breed designed, the electronics and the component construction have greatly improved. Also the original airbags were only designed for frontal impacts, modern cars use side impact systems as well.
I began repairing vehicles in 1978. In the early days all that i knew about airbags is that they had killed more technicians then they had saved. I was formerly trained on SRS technology and I have continued to train to this day. Airbags have now saved many lives. The improvements on seat belt technology have also been responsible for saving many lives. Many times the reason that the SRS or airbag light is on is as simple as a broken or disconnected wire. We repair airbag and SRS systems every day. The actual components of the system like the bags themselves and the modules are usually very high quality. The most common repairs are usually either open wires or corrosion. Many of our airbag and SRS system repairs cost less than a hundred dollars. you and your families safety are worth much more than that.
We Service Old Or New
We enjoy repairing the cars and equipment from the old days like this killer Dodge Hemi engine but I love the fuel injected, supercharged monster that we get in the shop today as well. I love the shreaking sound of four cylinder motors, (especially motorcycles) but I love the deep thump of a V-twin, a V-8 or V-10 engine. I dig turbocharged and supercharged engines. I love two strokes. I guess I am just a gear-head!