The world is a lot different than it was 50 years ago. Progress has been made in social justice, with a higher acceptance of Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Technology has taken a tremendous step forward, as telephones were still primarily rotary models in the 1970s. Now, many people use smartphones, which are essentially mini-computers.
Safety has also taken a huge step forward in the last five decades, and it’s important to appreciate where we came from with safety technology and where we’re headed. Car safety is one of the areas that has improved the most in the last 50 years.
Because of advanced seat belts, air bags, and lane correction technology, people are getting in fewer accidents than ever before. The airline industry is another one that is a lot safer than before. We’ll cover how airplanes themselves have improved, as well as the ways airports have tried to keep criminals out.
#1 – Amusement Parks
Amusement parks are fun for the whole family, but they also have had a fair share of tragic accidents happen on their grounds. The great thing is a lot more research has gone into making roller coasters and other rides safer in the last several decades, even if bad things happen every once in a while.
The speed and height of roller coasters might make certain people afraid of them, but there’s a lot of great things about roller coasters, too. There is overwhelming evidence that riding on a roller coaster is actually much safer than riding in a car. You only have a one in 18 million chance of getting critically injured on a roller coaster ride.
Many roller coasters are now made out of steel, which is a sturdier building material than wood. There are still wooden roller coasters, but they are fewer compared to 50 years ago.
There are stricter requirements for height, weight, and age than in past decades, too. This makes things easier for the riders to feel they are safe if they fit the physical description of a safe rider.
#2 – Cars
There aren’t many industries that have made bigger strides in safety than the auto industry. Driving a car used to be one of the most dangerous activities you could do. It’s still a risky activity, but the amount of safety features on vehicles now is enormous and has made the experience much less stressful.
In the 1970s, over half of all car crashes resulted in a fatality. From 2013-2017, this percentage was cut down to 26% of crashes resulting in a fatality. This is due to a large number of enhancements to vehicles.
Anti-locking brakes are one of the great innovations that have become commonplace in cars in the last 50 years. This braking system allows the driver to still be in control of the car, even when you slam on the brakes. Before anti-locking brakes, pumping the brakes suddenly would cause the car to lock in the direction it was going, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Another innovation was the crumple zone in the front of the car. This was invented in the 1950s but wasn’t put into practice for decades after. This is true of a lot of safety innovations in the auto industry.
The crumple zone causes the front of the car to absorb most of the impact of a head-on collision, crumpling the car instead of forcing the driver to absorb so much of the impact of the crash.
All these safety items have made it easier to decide when it’s the right time to let your teen drive. Phones and text messaging have been in direct conflict with the added safety features on cars.
Combining great driving skills with safety enhancements on cars has made the entire driving experience much more enjoyable, peaceful, and safe.
#3 – Airplanes
Many people have a fear of getting on airplanes, but those irrational thoughts are starting to go away. This is because the number of people who fly each year is higher than ever before. Airlines have had to respond with more sufficient safety precautions that match the huge number of flyers.
Folks who fly are more knowledgeable about what happens on airplanes, also alleviating fears.
The main technology innovation that has been added to airplanes is air traffic control monitoring with GPS. This helps pilots see what is going on well before it happens. They can change course more easily than ever before when there is a storm or another potential threat in the sky.
These advancements have caused the number of fatal airline crashes to decrease in the last five decades, much like the number of car crashes we covered.
#4 – Video Games
It wasn’t well known back in the formative years of gaming, but we now are very familiar with the potential of video games to cause seizures in children. If you know your child suffers from epilepsy or other forms of seizures, most video games include a manual with directions on how to avoid them while playing.
These safety procedures were not available back in the 1970s and 1980s. Manufacturers give directions on how long to play video games as well as how far to sit from the TV while playing. This information wasn’t readily available to gamers in the past. Technology revolutionizes the world of gaming that leads also to the surge of different online games today.
The main catalyst in safety improvements in the last several decades is the large number of technology enhancements. Hopefully, the technology available to us will continue to improve our world in the next 50 years.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. He wants to help people understand how safety in cars has improved and helped bring fatal accidents down.