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3 Types Of Injuries Your Vehicle's Frame Is Designed To Protect You From

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Your vehicle's frame does a lot more than give your car or truck its shape. Through decades of research and safety testing, it has become a prime component in the overall safety of your vehicle. Read on to learn how your frame protects you from 3 common collision-related injuries.

Impact Injuries

Your vehicle's frame is made up of 2 main components. The first component is the safety cell. This part of the frame encases the cabin with high-strength steel and rigid reinforcement beams. It's meant to stop any large object that crashes into it in the event of a collision and to distribute the energy from that collision over as great an area as possible without actually sacrificing the structure of the safety cell.

The second component to your vehicle's frame is called the crumble zone. The crumble zone is made from less rigid, weaker steel. This part of your vehicle's frame is not meant to stop an oncoming object during a collision, but rather to cave in upon itself, thus absorbing much of the energy created by the collision. The crumble zone is meant to be sacrificed during a collision so that the safety cell (where the passengers are located) can fare better. 

Your frame helps to protect you against crushing injuries in the event of a vehicular collision by absorbing some of the force of the object you collide with before it hits your cabin. 

Vehicle Ejection Injuries

It's time for a quick physics lesson. According to the law of inertia, once an object is moving it will continue to move in the same direction and at the same speed until it is disrupted by an outside force.

How much do you weigh? During a collision, you technically weigh this number times the speed at which you were traveling at the time of impact. If the force of your altered weight hits the windshield during a collision, you're going to be ejected from the vehicle.

Because the crumble zone discussed above strategically absorbs energy instead of just blocking collision, it reduces the difference in speed between the vehicle and the people inside of it at the time of collision. The vehicle doesn't just halt on impact, leaving the passengers to propel forward. Instead, the crumble zone absorbs the shock so the vehicle and its passengers are slowed down before the crumble zone experiences the impact.

Since the frame works to slow the vehicle down before passenger impact, the passengers' masses are reduced before they hit the interior of the car. And since the passengers won't hit the windshield at their greatest possible mass, they are less likely to be ejected from the vehicle during an accident.

Fire-Related Injuries

Fires and explosions are always a concern when a gas-powered vehicle is in a collision. Guess what -- your vehicle's frame is specifically designed to limit the risk of these occurrences. Your gas tank isn't in your cabin, so it's not protected in the safety cell. However, the crumble zone is designed in such a way as to lift the gas tank up and away from danger in the event of a collision.

Car manufacturers strategically weaken the steel frame on each side of your gas tank ever-so-slightly. Upon impact, these weakened sections will bend first, thus forcing the portion of frame above your gas tank upwards and pulling your gas tank away from the collision. 

Your vehicle's frame protects your gas tank from damage during a collision, thus limiting the risk of spilled gas creating a dangerous fire or explosion.

Your vehicle's frame does a lot more than define the shape of your car; it offers various forms of protection in the event of a collision. If you suspect your vehicle's frame is misaligned, visit your local body shop for frame straightening as soon as possible. For more information, visit sites like