OCR Physics Car Safety


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  • Designed to restrain driver
  • Prevents collision with windscreen
  • Stretches slightly increasing distance
  • Force applied in opposite direction to motion of driver
  • Force applied over wider area to reduce pressure and injury

Mass is moving at the same speed as the car and needs to be brought to a stop! It's better to be stopped by the seatbelt than the windscreen :)

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Crumple Zones

  •  Increase the distance over which the force is acting, therefore the average force is less


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Airbag Inflation

  • An accelerometer (spring with a mass on the end hits a switch) and triggers a chemical reaction
  • This occurs when the acceleration is around 10g
  • Nitrogen gas is produced and flexible nylon bag inflates
  • Deflates as you hit it so you don't injure yourself
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  • Increases distance (and time) hence force is less
  • Work done over a greater distance
  • Wider area reduces pressure
  • Deflates quickly to prevent whiplash/suffocation
  • Prevents driver hitting steering wheel and windscreen
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