Vehicle: Car: Safety: Crash
The Crashing Car   (+1, -3)  [vote for, against]
A vehicle interior that doesn't stop suddenly on impact

Imagine a car of any size crashing into a brick wall. The bumper and front end crumple first, slowing the car down. But then the car still keeps going. In many crash tests, the windsheild of the car will smash against the wall before the entire vehicle stops, sending the heads of the dummies flying into it.

Now imagine a car of almost the same size, but shaped somewhat differently. For one, the front end is about a foot longer, and the bumper is thicker, with springs inside it, like in the cars of the sixties. Also, the interior of the car is entirely separate from the frame. It is mounted on small rollers, so it moves independently from the frame. Attatched to the outside rear of the sliding interior, there are several lengths of thick bungee cord and springs. There are also thinner lengths of bungee attached to the front of the interior. All of these are fastened to the inside of the frame.

When accelerating, the interior will gently slide backward, then come slowly forward, due to the tension of the cords and springs at the rear, and the compresion of the springs at the front. If the car hit something at high speeds, the front end would crumple as usual (though perhaps slightly less so because of the large bumper) and the interior would slowly deccelerate, because of the tension of the bungee at the rear, and the compresion of the springs at the front. All other modern saftey featured would be implemented as well.
-- jellydoughnut, Oct 13 2005

Cars actually crumple by design, originally they were made to be as rigid as possible to avoid to much damage to the car, but all the forces from crashes were then transferred to the body of the occupants. Cars are now designed with special 'crumple zones', this utterly destroys the car in a crash but should take away a good deal of the force to minimise injuries as much as possible. I imagine your solution would be quite disorienting to the driver - and either keep altering the distance between driver and steering wheel + pedals, or cause problems with the mechanics of making the pedals and wheel move forward and backwards continually while retaining functionality.
-- fridge duck, Oct 13 2005

I foresee (even more) whiplash law suits.
-- Texticle, Oct 13 2005

I thought of the problem of the controls moving out and thought that the best solution would be to have all the controls controlled electrically, having the steering wheel, gas, brake, etc. in their normal positions, but being used by the driver who may be three feet away. This would only be possible if there was some kind of electronic dashboard which was attatched to the moving interior of the car.
-- jellydoughnut, Oct 13 2005

A simple array of springs and bungee cords would never do. Assuming that there is indeed some advantage to this arrangement, one would be best off to integrate some sort of dampening system(consider hydraulic or pneumatic) to prevent the previously mentioned ["even more" whiplash law suits].
-- X2Entendre, Oct 13 2005

I imagine a simple friction-fit sliding device would suffice.
-- RayfordSteele, Oct 13 2005

Morse taper?
-- bristolz, Oct 14 2005

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