The human spine is responsible for giving the body structure and helping a person stand upright. A car’s frame is much the same. It provides support, protects the passengers, and helps keep the parts in the right places. As strong as the frame is, it’s actually designed to sustain damage in a crash. This is called the crumple zone, and it’s an intentional feature. While the crumple zone may cause you to need frame straightening and other collision repairs, it can also help you and your passengers survive the crash.
Why Manufacturers Designed the Crumple Zone
The early history of cars is a little frightening, as there weren’t too many safety features. Early designers produced extremely rigid vehicle bodies, apparently reasoning that the harder the shell, the better it would protect the human occupants. But thanks to the laws of physics, we know better now. When a rigid car strikes a barrier, it will stop—but the humans won’t. They’ll sustain serious damage. Even if they’re buckled into their seats safely, the sensitive internal organs like the brain will keep moving right after impact. The crumple zone is intended to absorb the force of the impact to minimize the force exerted on the occupants.
Why the Crumple Zone Works
Thanks to Isaac Newton, engineers know that force equals mass multiplied by acceleration. In terms of car safety, this means that if it takes longer for a car to stop, then the force exerted on the car and its occupants will decrease. The crumple zone works by sacrificing part of the car for the sake of slowing it down and decreasing the force exerted on the occupants.
How the Crumple Zone Affects Collision Repairs
The crumple zone saves lives by inflicting damage on cars. Fortunately, cars are much more easily repaired than a severely injured human body. The body shop can use specialized frame straightening equipment to get the vehicle’s frame back to its pre-accident condition. Of course, you’ll also likely need other collision repairs if you’ve been in a major accident, like suspension and bumper repairs.
Michael J’s Body Shop specializes in frame straightening, and we provide a lifetime warranty on all of our collision repairs. We also offer expert car dent removal and bumper repair for drivers near San Jose. Call 408-279-2070.