Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Return Arts and Leisure Communities Immigration and Migration Making the Exhibition Technology Work and Industry Other Topics Guest Curators

PREVENTING A "SECOND COLLISION"
 

In the 1930s, the continuing high rate of automobile-related fatalities prompted safety advocates to seek explanations other than driver error. Physicians, inventors, and journalists noted that in an accident the driver and passengers always collided with the metal dashboard, steering wheel, windshield, or doors, resulting in serious or even fatal injuries. Dashboard knobs, door handles, radio grilles, steering columns, and other fixtures were knife-like projections that could impale or lacerate motorists.

This 1936 Cadillac, like most cars of the 1930s, had a steel dashboard studded with knobs.
This 1936 Cadillac, like most cars of the 1930s, had a steel dashboard studded with knobs.
Packard Darrin custom car with padded dashboard, about 1940
Packard Darrin custom car with padded dashboard, about 1940
Previous Page
Next Page
National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | Buy the Book | E-mail Signup | Credits