Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Auto Safety Testing

Auto safety testing methods have come a long way in the past few years, which helps manufacturers improve the overall safety of their vehicles. In this section, you'll find articles all about auto safety testing.

Featured
How is passive automotive safety tested?

Seat belts, airbags and crumple zones are among the familiar passive safety features found in cars and trucks these days. But do you know how your car's passive automotive safety is tested?


Did Pintos really explode in the 1970s?

At a time when the typical car took 43 months to design and build, the Pinto was ready in just 25. Sure, mistakes were made — but did the subcompact car from Ford really explode when hit from behind?

How do automakers test long-term durability?

Automobile manufacturers will do whatever it takes to ensure their product can stand the test of time. But what's involved in the long-term durability testing process? How far will they really go?

How do automakers use independent research?

Transportation is such an important field that automotive research can't only be left to the auto manufacturers. Independent research organizations do studies, too. But how do automakers use this research?

How is passive automotive safety tested?

Seat belts, airbags and crumple zones are among the familiar passive safety features found in cars and trucks these days. But do you know how your car's passive automotive safety is tested?

How is active automotive safety tested?

In addition to finding ways to make a car safer for its occupants during an accident, engineers have been creating new technologies to help drivers avoid accidents altogether. It's called active safety.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Automotive Testing

Automotive testing is much more than merely smashing a car into a wall at high speed. In fact, there are aspects of automotive testing that you might find surprising, quirky or even downright bizarre.