Crashology

Car CrashologyWhile you might think that contemplating the complexity of a car crash is a bit like considering the complexity of Paris Hilton (a short and loathsome process), there’s actually a long list of events that contribute to a collision – last of all being the driver’s awareness that there’s even been an accident. In fact, Lone Gunman provides a timeline down to the millisecond describing the chronology of crashes, starting with an external object touching the car.

That event may seem to end the ball game, but in actuality it’s just the beginning. Within 2.5 milliseconds, the car’s pressure sensor has detected a wave, while the acceleration censor detects a collision. At 5 ms, the car’s crash computer is busy ascertaining the severity of the crash, and triggering further action. This leads to an airbag deployment at 8.5 ms.

Think that finishes it? Wrong again. In the next 150 ms, the airbag moves the driver away from impact and starts to deflate, while the car’s computer unlocks the car doors. It isn’t until the 300 ms mark that the occupant actually becomes aware of the crash.

Alright, auto collision, we misjudged you. But I doubt we can say the same for Miss Hilton.