Vehicle Safety Advancements Through History

Traveling on wheels has long been an obsession with humans. In the 1770’s, the first car engines were experimental. Inventors attempted to make the engines run on steam. Over time, as technology developed the concern from how to make a vehicle work changed to concern for safety.

 1878 the first bicycle Being mobile has always been important to people. In 1878 the first bicycle was built in the Weed Sewing Machine Factory, located in Hartford, Connecticut. Classified as a high wheeler, meaning the front wheel was much taller than the back wheel, the “Columbia Bicycle” sold for a whopping $125. This was considered an extravagance when you consider that a sewing machine, which was as common in households back then as a computer is today, was only about $13. 

Safety First

Arguably the earliest safety feature to be invented was the seat belt. George Cayley, an engineer, developed the seat belt originally for the benefit of pilots in their gliders. However, in 1885, the first patented seatbelt was created by Edward J. Claghorn. His concern was for the safety of visitors touring New York City by taxi. By 1966 all vehicles were required to have seat belts, and in 1995 the “Buckle Up” laws went into effect.

Another aspect of safety to develop over time were traffic safety laws. Having driving regulations is nothing new. In Roman times there were parking laws, one way streets, and crossing pavements, much like our contemporary crosswalks. As early as 1870’s there was concern among cyclists regarding their safety with automobiles that were making more and more of an appearance. The first Bicyclists Touring Club was created and outlined and defended the rights of the cyclist. In 1903 the Motor Car Act, when enforced speed limits of 20 miles per hour, was created. The Motor Car Act also made mandatory driver’s license, registration, and number plates.

Safety Equipment

As technology developed, so did even more safety equipment beyond the use of a seat belt, both inside the vehicle and out. The three-way traffic light was first introduced in 1930. The commonly knows red, green and yellow lights (stop, go, slow) were put into practice, taming dangerous intersections. Airbags may seem a more contemporary addition to cars, but the first airbags were introduced to vehicles in 1951. Motorcycle helmets were patented by Professor C.F. “Red” Lombard in response to a rise in motorcycle fatalities.

Is Bigger, Better?

Safety of smaller vehicles was addressed giving the buyer several points to consider when purchasing a small car. Cars have changed greatly in shape, size, and weight over the years. These days with the price of gas going up, and consumers looking to buy more economical vehicles, the questions have changed. Seat belts and airbags are a given, but what about the size of the vehicle? Is a smaller vehicle any less safe than a larger one?

There are many reasons to like small vehicles. Larger vehicles are loved for their power; the smaller vehicle has its own appeal to the buyer. If you live in an urban environment, a small vehicle may help the ease of parking. Also, smaller vehicles typically have much better gas mileage. Smaller vehicles can be sleek, efficient, and appealing to the consumer. But, safety should always be considered, no matter what size vehicle you buy. When you consider purchasing a small vehicle, there are some important factors to consider.

Modern Cars and Safety

The common consent for the last several decades has been that the bigger a car is, the safer it is. So, for a seller of small cars, the market may not have been as profitable as desired. And there may be some truth to that statement, but over the years, technology in small cars has developed and improved their safety. In today’s market we expect air conditions, airbags, power steering, and traction control to be standard amenities in the vehicles we buy, including smaller vehicles. Besides those features, it is right for consumers to expect the same safety features in small cars as in the larger vehicles. Innovative technology has been a huge part of vehicle development, and safety features are included in those advancements.

Technological advances should not be solely relied upon, however, for safety when driving a smaller vehicle. There are some issues that cannot ever be resolved with advanced technology. If a small vehicle crashes into a large truck, physics dictate the smaller vehicle will have the more damage. There has never been a time in history which had more vehicles on the road. More vehicles mean potentially more accidents. All the technology at our fingertips is no match for the driver’s awareness of other drivers and their perceptions of smaller vehicles.

 1878 the first bicycle

It is an unfortunate trend that when you are in a small vehicle, others around may fell at liberty to drive more aggressively. Though many drivers are courteous, some will try to cut you off. But if that sort of behavior doesn’t really bother you, then the danger is minimized, and you enjoy your journey from point A to point B in your small vehicle.

You may be able to minimize the hazards when driving, and feel perfectly comfortable in your fuel-efficient, trendy small car. If so, then there is only one more aspect of driving to be considered. Youi car insurance in an online agency which offers reasonable policies for New Zealand drivers. Insurance is a vital part of being prepared for the journey in your large or small vehicle.


Safety has been an important feature in the history of vehicles, and nothing has changed since seat belts for glider pilots were first introduced. You may desire to drive a small car, but are intimidated by the plethora of larger vehicles on the road. Whether or not you choose to drive a small or a larger vehicle, enjoy the bounty of technology that has developed to keep you safe on your journey.