Honda Civic. It’s too vanilla. It’s boring. It’s got no class. My granny drives one of those. Call it what you like, but the truth is, Honda Civic is one of the safest cars of all time!

Little attention was paid to the safety of cars at the start. This was partly because cars traveled at very slow speed and partly because the users and regulatory authorities were still discovering what safety meant. 

Till the 1940s – Safety was Considered to be a Part of Cars

  • 1903 was the year the wiper blade was patented by Mary Anderson. The initial wipers were operated by a lever inside the car.
  • In 1911, Ray Harroun replaced the navigator (a person who sat at the rear end of the car in rallies to look out for traffic behind the car) with a rearview mirror during the Indianapolis 500 race. 
  • Florence Lawrance, a silent movie star, developed the first indicators in 1914. Unlike the blinking lights we know today, these were signaling arms that were raised by electric motors.
  • 1921 saw the invention of headrests by Benjamin Katz. They were developed to reduce the harm caused by rear-end accidents.
  • Safety glass or laminated glass was introduced in 1921 to prevent windscreens from shattering in 1927.
  • General Motors introduced the concept of the crash test for the first time in 1934.
  • The 1947 Tucker Sedan was the first car to use padded dashboards to reduce injury to the face and chest.

We’ve still not mentioned how Honda Civic is one of the safest cars? Don’t worry. That’s just because the Civic first came out in 1972.

The 1950s – Seatbelts and Airbags become the Norm

  • The first airbag was developed by Walter Linderer in 1951. This could be deployed by the driver or by the collision of the front bumper.
  • The concept of a crumple zone (a structural zone at the front of the car that absorbs the force of an impact) was introduced by Bela Barenyi in 1952.
  • The caliper-type disc brakes that we still use to this date were developed in 1953 jointly by Jaguar and Dunlop.
  • Nils Bohlin, an engineer at Volvo, developed the first three-point seatbelt in 1959. This is still considered the single most effective safety feature in any car to this date.

Let’s see what happened next.

The 1960s – Safety Features are Mandated 

  • The Excelsior Motor Company introduced the first inertia reel seatbelt in 1963. It could extend on pulling softly but got locked in case of a sudden jolt. 
  • In 1966, all the cars made in Europe were mandated to have front seatbelts, padded dashboards, and white reverse lights. This was also the year that the anti-lock braking system, initially developed for aircraft, was adopted for cars. 
  • The US mandated the same safety features in 1968 via the first Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards act.

The 1970s and 1980s – Safety is Taken one Step Ahead

  • Wearing seatbelts was made compulsory in Australia in 1970, the first nation to take this step. Anti-lock brakes also made their way to the rear wheels this year.
  • General Motors introduced airbags as an option for the front seats in 1974.
  • In 1978, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was the first vehicle to have electronic anti-lock brakes.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration became the first institution in the world to conduct crash tests on vehicles in 1979.
  • The SRS (supplemental restraint system) airbags were first introduced by Mercedes in 1981.
  • The UK made wearing front seatbelts compulsory in 1983.
  • In 1987, the UK made it compulsory for manufacturers to install rear seatbelts. Traction control was also developed the same year by Toyota and Mercedes.

The 1990s 

  • A side impact protection system, designed to spread the force of impact over the entire side of the vehicle, was introduced by Volvo.
  • The New Car Assessment Program was introduced by Australia in 1993 to give safety warnings to cars. This rated the performance of the safety features of cars in the case of severe front and back collisions.
  • Side airbags were introduced by Volvo in 1994.
  • Mercedes-Benz and Bosch introduced electronic vehicle stability control for the first time in 1995.
  • 1996 saw the introduction of the Brake Assist System by Mercedes-Benz. KIA installed the first knee airbag the same year.
  • The European New Car Assessment Programme was formed in 1997.

The 2000s

  • The Lane Departure Warning System was introduced in Europe for Trucks in 2000. The initial versions warned the drivers through audio-visual and vibratory messages in case of leaving the lane.
  • Volvo introduced the Blind Spot Monitoring system in 2004. This system used cameras and motion sensors.
  • Jaguar and Citroen jointly developed the pop-up bonnet in 2005 to reduce injury to pedestrians.
  • The first autonomous braking system was introduced by Volvo in 2008. The system was designed to automatically apply full braking power to the vehicle in case of an imminent crash.
  • 2010 was the year Volvo developed the pedestrian detection system.

Cars have definitely gotten safer over the years. We now see the features like seatbelts, airbags, anti-lock braking, lane departure warning, autonomous braking, and blindspot monitoring standard on almost all modern cars. 

And the Honda Civic is one fine example of that!!!

Why Honda Civic is One of The Safest Cars?

The safety features of any car can be divided into two categories. One is the passive safety features and the other is the active ones. The Civic brings together the best of both worlds to make something that is safer than any other car. 

Let’s see how Honda does that!

Active Safety Features of the Honda Civic

Active safety features of a car are the systems that can actively intervene the driving to avoid any dangerous outcome. The Honda Civic is one of the safest cars ever due to the following active safety features:

  • Vehicle Safety Assist (Honda’s own Electronic Stability Control system) maximizes vehicle safety on all types of roads.
  • An anti-lock braking system prevents the car from skidding during intense braking.
  • Electronic Brake Distribution prevents wheels from losing traction on slippery surfaces.
  • Brake Assist adjusts braking force according to the driving conditions.
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System applies brakes of the car when a collision is inevitable.
  • The Road Departure Warning System warns the driver if they happen to leave the road.
  • Lane Keeping Assist System keeps the car within a lane when turning with cruise control.
  • Traffic Sign Recognition displays the speed limits and other instructions on the car’s instrument panel.
  • And many more!

Passive Safety Features of the Honda Civic 

The passive safety features of this car include: 

  • Honda’s patented ACE body structure protects the occupants by sacrificing the front and rear crumple zones in case of an accident.
  • The front seatbelts have a load limiter. They immediately retract in case of a collision but are given in slowly to reduce seatbelt whiplash.
  • The car has up to 11 airbags that can protect every occupant from every side in case of a crash.

The combination of these active and passive safety features is why Honda Civic is one of the safest cars ever!!!!


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