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Escape! Because Accidents Happen—Car Crash

Program Overview


Note: This program contains graphic images of car accidents. You should preview the program to determine its appropriateness for your classroom.

NOVA investigates the innovations of scientists and engineers as they work to design safer cars.

The program:

  • relates the invention of shatterproof and safety glass.

  • outlines "crash science," which involves understanding the forces that injure the body—in every accident two collisions occur: when the car collides with an object and when the passenger collides with the interior of the car.

  • notes the development of the single most effective safety device in any vehicle—the three-point seat belt.

  • follows the introduction of crumple zones and a very rigid passenger cell to reduce injuries.

  • follows the development of the air bag, invented in 1952 and now being redesigned to address deployment challenges.

  • reviews new technologies under development, such as smart cars and automated highways.

Teacher's Guide
Escape! Because Accidents Happen—Car Crash
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