Precision engineering by Honda

This is not a sponsored post

A buddy of mine over Stateside nearly departed the land of the living today. Heading down the freeway at a speed around the limit (65 mph) he moved to avoid a collision, got clipped on the rear, and drove at nearly full speed into the concrete Jersey barriers separating the eastbound from westbound traffic. Those barriers being notable for their inability to yield, his Acura was reduced substantially in length. What was notable, however, was that the trashing of the engine compartment and its subsequent intrusion into the driver space stopped almost exactly at his knees - they were a little sore, and he was disoriented from the various exploding airbags, but he was able to climb out of the vehicle and wait for the emergency services.

While wanting to berate the EMS crews who let him walk away from the wreck and get a ride home without doing the prophylactic collar-and-board that anyone with a PHTLS certification would have carried out, we should stop and marvel at the design and engineering that has successfully dissipated the massive energy in a 50mph+ near-frontal impact into every single bit of the car except the space occupied by people. When we consider the steady decline in traffic fatalities since 1990, it seems pointless to deny the role played by safety engineering and relentless study of the mechanics of road traffic accident injuries.

For those of you looking at a Honda-brand car for your next vehicle, they seem to know what they are doing with regards to safety.

Needless to say, he was wearing his seatbelt. Princess Di conspiracy theorists, take note.


  1. In my youth the car industry claimed that only speed (and acceleration) would sell cars. Then the marketers realised that it was wives who mad the final buying decision and safety became a USP.

    Since then all the engineering you talk about has taken us to a place nobody could have envisaged back in the 70s and 80s.

    Only one small complaint from me; when I eventually got to the point where I could treat myself to that Jag I'd always promised myself for working hard there's Jag on the bonnet.

    PS You need to look the CSS overflow for your comments box as its bringing up scroll bars for about 3 character in Chrome (I haven't checked others) and making it awkward to type.

  2. You might be onto something with the wife-purchasing theory. A surprising number of my male buddies have their car choice "guided" by their better half, and a substantial number of my female buddies are petrolheads. Of course, it's an engineering-rich sample...

    Can you clarify the comment box overflow problem? I have Chrome (on OS X) and can't see a scroll bar issue. How to reproduce?

  3. And think, your buddy's story is just one of thousands. The advances in car engineering are fascinating. I never cease to be amazed by what can be accomplished these days. With precision engineering, these kind of ideas can be tested even before the full-scale car is built.

    Jenn | http://www.hargo.com.au


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