Auto Safety Through The Years

1920s Cadillac is the first car with safety glass windows as standard equipment. First electric windshield wiper introduced.

1930s Sun visors and electric turn signals were introduced on most models.

1940s Buick introduces front/rear directional signaling with self-canceling switch.

1950s Safety belts become optional equipment in some vehicles

1960s Federal law mandates front safety belts and head restraints in all passenger cars, and establishes crashworthiness standards for cars.

1970s Chrysler produces an early version of antilock brakes. GM produces first airbag. Federal law mandates front bumpers meet 5 mpg crash standard.

1980s Antilock brakes become widely available in passenger cars. First seat-belt use law enacted in NY. All 50 states pass laws requiring use of child safety seats.

1990s Dual airbags become standard equipment in all passenger cars, side-impact airbags are introduced. Daytime running lights are offered on some US cars. Better head restraints are introduced.

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