Despite the ever increasing traffic density in recent years there were fewer accidents with fatalities or serious injuries. This is explained by improving automotive safety systems.
Road safety has as main purposes referral, identification, modeling and knowledge of the factors that contribute to avoid road traffic accidents or, when the accident however occurred, to mitigate its consequences.
Traffic safety is defined as the ability to moving quickly and secure with the vehicle without loss of stability driving on the controlled path of driver and without collision causing injury to occupants and/or other road users or hindering the normal running of other road vehicles, under all foreseeable conditions of traffic. Also, in case of a traffic accident it imposes a minimum degree of risk to vehicle occupants and to other road users. Defined thus, the scope of circulation include the following factors: man, vehicle, road, composition and volume of traffic flows as well as moving speed.
In terms of vehicle characteristics that contribute to traffic safety, there are two main groups of measures that are taken in order to increase road safety: the group of active security measures (includes all measures for optimizing the characteristics of the vehicle that are taken to avoid traffic accidents) and group of passive security measures (includes all measures for optimizing the characteristics of the vehicle that are taken to eliminate or reduce the consequences of accidents traffic).
Corresponding to these groups of measures are distinguished two types of traffic safety: active safety and passive safety.
The main measures of active safety, hence to avoid accidents include improving steering, braking, rolling, signaling and lighting, as well as the improvement of dynamic parameters which directly influence traffic safety by avoiding accidents, such as: space and minimum start time, the maximum accelerated while performing overtaking, braking capacity on the smallest possible space, the ability to control speed.
To avoid accidentsis applied active safety systems including Brake Assist and steering, and also warning systems. The greatest progress was achieved in the area of electronic security systems.
Active and passive systems, but also vehicle electronic control systems are combined with each other to ensure passenger safety.
In the case of technologies designed to prevent accidents (active safety elements) and to diminish the inevitable negative consequences of road events (passive safety), car manufacturers have managed to achieve significant performance.
These performances were even more valuable considering that the expenditure for research – development were substantial and concurrent with the many constraints from both the (norms and mandatory technical requirements) and the market itself (competition increasingly tougher against the backdrop of an disincentives economic climate).
Passive safety systems to minimize applies to minimize the consequences for passengers and pedestrians. The most known parts of such systems are seat belts, head restraints, airbags and “soft zone” that deforms slightly under impact, absorbing energy. Even predetermined braking points at the wheel and the pedals, as well as innovative materials such as laminated glass used in the manufacture of windshields and carbon fibers used in bodywork reduce long enough risk of injury in an impact.
The degree of vehicle passive safety is ensured by:
- Security design of the vehicle structure, capable of taking up a large part of the energy dissipated during the impact;
- Designing optimized containment systems to protect occupants during the accident;
- Protective measures for accident participants that are outside the vehicle (pedestrians, cyclists, etc. hit);
- Post-accident safety measures.