The Evolution of Automotive Safety Features


Safety in the automotive industry has evolved significantly from the early days of motoring, where the concept of a seatbelt was as foreign as the vehicles themselves. In this post, we delve into the remarkable journey of automotive safety features, comparing the rudimentary protections of older models with the sophisticated systems in modern vehicles. At Concourse Automotive, our extensive experience with both classic and contemporary cars positions us uniquely to appreciate and understand these advancements. Let's explore how innovation has made cars safer and what it means for drivers and passengers alike.

The Early Years: Safety Takes a Backseat

In the early 20th century, the focus was on getting automobiles to work reliably rather than safely. The first cars lacked what we now consider basic safety features, such as seatbelts, windshields, and doors. Crashes, when they occurred, were often fatal due to the absence of any protective measures.

Highlight: The Introduction of Seatbelts

The real turning point for automotive safety came in the 1950s with the introduction of the seatbelt. Initially, seatbelts were simple two-point waist restraints, which, while rudimentary, marked a significant step towards acknowledging the importance of passenger safety.

The 1970s to 1990s: Safety Becomes a Priority

This period saw a surge in safety innovations as the industry responded to increasing public concern over road fatalities. Governments began to play a more active role, introducing regulations that required the inclusion of certain safety features in all vehicles.

Key Innovations:

  • Crumple Zones: Designed to absorb the impact of a collision, thereby reducing the force transmitted to occupants.
  • Airbags: Initially introduced for the driver, airbags soon became a standard safety feature for all seat positions, significantly reducing fatalities in frontal collisions.
  • Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS): Preventing wheels from locking up during braking, ABS helped drivers maintain control of the vehicle during emergency stops.

The 21st Century: The Age of Technology and Innovation

Today's vehicles are equipped with an array of safety features unimaginable to early motorists. Advances in technology have made cars not just safer in the event of a crash but also more capable of preventing accidents altogether.

Modern Safety Features:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC): Helps prevent skidding and loss of control by automatically applying brakes to individual wheels.
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): This suite of technologies includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control, which work together to prevent accidents.
  • Connected Car Technologies: Vehicles can now communicate with each other and infrastructure to anticipate and avoid potential hazards.

Concourse Automotive: Bridging the Past and the Future

At Concourse Automotive, we're passionate about cars of all vintages. Our expertise spans the full spectrum of automotive history, allowing us to appreciate the intricacies of classic car safety systems and the sophistication of modern vehicles' technology. Whether you're driving a vintage classic or a state-of-the-art model, our team has the knowledge and skills to ensure your vehicle is as safe as it can be.


The evolution of automotive safety features is a testament to the industry's commitment to protecting lives. From the basic seatbelts of the 1950s to today's advanced driver assistance systems, each innovation has played a crucial role in reducing road fatalities and injuries. At Concourse Automotive, we celebrate this progress and are committed to keeping you informed and your vehicles safe, regardless of their age.

Continuing the Conversation

We invite you to visit Concourse Automotive to learn more about how safety features have evolved and how we can help ensure your vehicle, classic or contemporary, meets the highest safety standards. Stay tuned for our email campaigns, where we'll dive deeper into specific safety features, offering insights and tips to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.


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