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Distracted Driver Accidents | July 18, 2019

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The Evolution and History of Automobile Safety

Kiernan Hopkins

I recently came across this Timeline on the History and Evolution of Automobile safety and thought I would share it on the site.  It is not directly related to Distracted Driving but there is no doubt that some of the newer safety features being added onto cars these days are meant to help decrease distracted driving.  I Found the original timeline on the Franklin Law Firm website.  Thanks for allowing me to share your work.


1929- Introduction of the first ever electric windscreen wipers.

1930- Safety glass becomes a required safety standard in all Ford made automobiles.

1949- Creation and introduction of first ever crash test dummy.

1951- First ever airbag is released by driver or by car bumper contact.

1952- Crumple zones are designed to absorb the energy from the impact during a traffic collision.

1958- Anti-Lock Braking Systems are implemented into every new car.

1959- Introduction of 3 Point Seat Belts.

1966- The National Transportation Safety Board (NHTSA) is created.

1968- First Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are established by the NHTSA.

1987- Introduction of the first traction control systems in automobiles.

1994- All vehicles are required to be crash tested.

1996- Brake assist is implemented into all automobiles designs.

1998- Airbags and blind spot warnings become mandatory in all cars in the U.S.

2002- First lane departure warning system is introduced.

2010- First pedestrian detection system is designed.

2013- First ever pedestrian air bag is introduced.


  1. Kate

    Some things you should have included: turn signals & brake lights, invented by “The 1st Movie Star” Florence Lawrence as well as the ongoing LACK of safety glass in side windows now. Google “The Sordid History of Auto Safety Glass”.

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