Car Safety and Regulatory Devices

In the Safety & Regulatory Devices section you'll find tools and technology intended to keep drivers and passengers safe, from car seats and airbags to red-light camera technology.

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Car testing is more than strapping a dummy to the driver's seat and releasing the brake. Engineers conduct myriad secret tests to assess everything from engine performance to design.

By Akweli Parker

Computerized stability systems for your car won't magically steer you clear of an out-of-control vehicle, but they can keep an eye on road conditions and vehicle performance.

By Robert Lamb

Have you ever wondered what happens to your old seatbelt? They can't be recycled in cars for safety reasons, but they often find new lives as clothing, furniture and even artwork.

By Tiffany Connors

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Airbags are everywhere. You can find them in the front and on both sides of your car. Vehicles now have tubular airbags, knee airbags and even outside airbags to protect pedestrians. How much safety is too much?

By Ed Grabianowski

They are crucial to personal safety and very expensive to replace. Should it be a surprise that airbags have replaced car stereos as the most popular target for auto thieves?

By Ed Grabianowski

Airbags have saved more than 27,000 lives since 1990, yet they still have detractors because of their danger to children. Occupant Classification Systems detect exactly who -- or what -- is sitting in your passenger seat.

By Patrick E. George

Our car safety image gallery shows you car safety features, crash testing, and other technology intended to keep drivers and passengers safe. And some features you may not have heard about.

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There's always going to be some risk involved with automobile travel. Crash testing helps remove some of that risk. However, given the availability of modern computer modeling, is it still necessary to destroy actual vehicles?

By Jamie Page Deaton

A lot of engineering goes into crash test dummies. But as advanced as crash test dummies are, they can't tell researchers everything that happens in a crash. That's where human crash test dummies come in.

By Jamie Page Deaton

Did you know that parts of your car are built with special structures designed to be damaged, crumpled, crushed and broken? These components redistribute the force of an impact before it reaches the vehicle's passengers.

By Ed Grabianowski

What if your car came with a guarantee that you'd never die while driving or riding in it? It sounds far-fetched, but one company is promising such a car by 2020.

By Josh Clark

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Strong coffee? That's the old-fashioned way to stay awake behind the wheel. Future generations of cars will be equipped with high-tech features to rouse sleepy drivers.

By Josh Clark

The oil in a car is a necessity that keeps things lubricated and running smooth. But what happens if you never change it? And how long can you really go?

By Marshall Brain

Speedometers have been around since the early 1900s when cars began to grow in popularity and (literally) outpace the horse-drawn carriage.

By William Harris

Traffic tickets are the bane of some motorists, but they exist to enforce driving laws and to encourage safe driving. Learn about traffic tickets including what's on a ticket what happens during a traffic stop and how to fight a ticket.

By Jacob Silverman

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Car seats: Get fast facts on car seat safety and easy-to-read explanations on harnesses the LATCH system and what to look for when buying car seats.

By Shane Speck

With parking space limited in big cities, squeezing your car into a tiny space is a vital skill. Learn how self-parking cars can remove the difficulty stress and uncertainty of this chore.

By Ed Grabianowski

Seatbelts save lives -- adult lives. For a seatbelt to do its job it must fit correctly, and on a small child a seatbelt is simply the wrong size. In this article, we'll examine the technology at work and find out how to choose the best child seat.

By Shane Speck

Seatbelts save thousands of lives each year. How can a piece of fabric end up being the difference between life and death? What does a seatbelt actually do? Learn how seatbelts react in a crash.

By Tom Harris

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The light turns red. You're alone at the intersection. There's not another car in sight. Do you run it? Read this before you answer.

By Tom Harris

Mechanical odometers have been counting the miles for centuries. Although they are a dying breed, they are incredibly cool inside. Learn how this simple device tracks distance and find out about digital odometers.

By Karim Nice

Why is it that at the scene of a car accident the broken glass is always in really small pieces yet when a baseball breaks a house window there are large jagged pieces?

How does a laser speed gun work to measure a car's speed? How is it different from a radar gun?

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Air bags have saved thousands of lives since their introduction in the early 1980s. So how do they work?

In my town they are replacing all of the traffic lights with these new lights that look like they are made of hundreds of tiny bulbs. Why are they replacing all of the lights?