Is a death proof car a pipe dream?

What is a death proof vehicle? Essentially, it’s a car that when you drive it that you’ll know with complete certainty if you are involved in an accident, there won’t be a fatality. Typically, when a producer refers to this concept, they mean there won’t be a fatality in terms of anyone in the vehicle in question. They are not working to build a car that can prevent deaths on the road, period. 

That said, even the former scenario is an ambitious prospect. Is it really possible to build a car that is completely deathproof. Volvo certainly seem to think so and even set themselves the task of ensuring that there were no more fatalities in their vehicles by 2021. But is this a real possibility and how could it be accomplished?


To build a death proof vehicle, the first step will always be to understand the different types of accidents that occur on the road. Only then will it be possible to ensure that a car is ready to handle these different situations. For instance, it will be important for producers to consider the impact of a collison that involves three or more vehicles. The problem with this situation is that the car will often be hit multiple times. So, it needs to provide protection from the front and back while the bodywork has to be able to sustain multiple hits. Usually, this is accomplished by designing the car so that the front of the vehicle absorbs most of the energy of the collision. Some producers have built cars that are amazing at this and do protect the inside of the vehicle, but it’s not enough. 


Ultimately the key to building a truely death defying vehicle is self driving technology. Cars that drive themselves are simply not going to crash on the roads because they don’t have the potential to do so. Instead, the vehicle is going to be able to dodge a lot of the hazards that would typically result in a car accident. However, there is a slight problem with this tech. It’s not quite as advanced as it needs to be. Indeed, a lot more work must be accomplished before these cars are able to drive themselves in all different types of scenarios. 

Indeed, there have already been failures with self driving vehicles. The most famous is perhaps the man who died while watching a movie behind the wheel. Tesla, the producer of the vehicle he was driving, clearly states that the tech they off still required human interaction and for drivers to pay attention to the road. However, this is certainly not the way it’s marketed.

It seems then that a future with cars that protect drivers from any chance of fatalities could be a reality. However, for this to occur tech does need to improve beyond it’s current level. We must reach the point where these vehicles are able to effectively drive themselves in all scenarios with no input from the driver. 


Photo Credit: Toyota

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