Modern Vehicles Integrate Passive and Active Safety Features, Collectively Aiming to Prevent Accidents and Lessen Injury Severity in New Jersey Crashes

The Interplay of Passive and Active Safety Features in Injury Claims in New Jersey.

Many vehicles today have passive safety features built in. Technology has developed active safety systems that are often built in as well. Together, these two systems, passive and active, help to prevent accidents and to reduce the severity of injuries.

Accidents do happen despite the growing popularity of these safety features. According to MarketWatch, there were nearly 43,000 car accident fatalities in the U.S. in 2022. Car accident fatalities have increased in the last 10 years. In 2012, 33,782 people died in car accidents, about 9,000 less than in 2022.

There were 701 fatalities in New Jersey in 2022 according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. Despite being so densely populated, New Jersey is one of the top five states for car safety, with a rate of 0.93 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. However, the number of traffic fatalities is still much too high, making the purchase of a car with both active and passive vehicle safety systems very important.

Modern Technologies Enhancing NJ Vehicle Safety

Yes, car manufacturers now place quite an emphasis on safety. They invest a lot in research to develop advanced safety features. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are one example, offering things like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, blind-spot monitoring, and collision avoidance. Vehicle designers are also focusing on enhanced crashworthiness to protect occupants of a car in an accident with safe materials and structural designs.

An important safety feature is airbags, which inflate during a collision to cushion passengers from hard surfaces. Vehicles are also equipped with systems like Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) to prevent wheels from locking-up during emergency braking. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS) enhance a car’s stability and prevent skidding.

The structural design of a passenger car is also key, with manufacturers striving to design and build vehicles with crash-resistant structures that protect riders during a collision.

Pedestrian protection is under development, with manufacturers working on energy-absorbing structures and external airbags. Some are exploring Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication. This allows vehicles to communicate with each other and with infrastructure to avoid potential collisions. Consumers need to educate themselves and evaluate safety ratings when choosing a vehicle.

Main Distinctions Between Active and Passive Vehicle Safety Systems

An active system prevents accidents from happening. A passive system minimizes the effects of an accident. Both systems have proven records of success. Here are the main differences between active and passive safety features.


Active Safety Features: Their purpose is to prevent accidents by helping the driver maintain control of the vehicle and avoid hazards. Examples include anti-lock braking systems, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warnings.

Passive Safety Features: These are designed to protect occupants during and after a collision. They help minimize injuries. Examples include airbags, crumple zones, and seat belts.

Timing of Operation

Active Safety Features: These operate while the vehicle is in motion, monitoring the surroundings and warning the driver.

Passive Safety Features: These activate during a crash, absorbing the impact to protect the occupants.

Driver Involvement

Active Safety Features: The driver is involved in the decision-making process, but the system provides warnings. Examples are adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping warnings, automatic emergency brakes, and blind-spot monitors.

Passive Safety Features: These activate during a collision, with no input from the driver. Examples are airbags, seat belts, crumple zones, side-impact beams, and reinforced vehicle structures.


Active Safety Features: Prevention is their goal, and they work to lessen the severity of collisions. Their effectiveness often depends on the driver’s responsiveness to warnings.

Passive Safety Features: These are effective in reducing injury severity and protecting occupants during a collision. However, as we’ve mentioned, they do not prevent accidents.


Exploring Factors Influencing Traffic Accidents Despite Safety Measures in New Jersey

Active Safety Features: Manufacturers are now integrating these with advanced driver assistance systems and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication.

Passive Safety Features: These are things like airbags and seat belts that are integrated into the vehicle’s design and structure.

To sum it up, active safety features focus on accident prevention, while passive safety features work during a collision to minimize injury.

Exploring the Factors Behind Traffic Accidents Despite Safety Features

Despite the advancements in passive and active safety features, accidents obviously still occur. The most significant reason is human behavior. Drivers still engage in risky behaviors: speeding, driving while distracted or under the influence, or ignoring traffic rules. No safety feature can eliminate these kinds of risks.

Another factor is mechanical failures or malfunctions that lead to accidents. The brakes, tires, steering systems, or other components may fail. Regular maintenance is vital to minimize this risk. Bad weather—rain, snow, ice, or fog—can lower a driver’s ability to see and can make roads slippery. Some safety features help with these conditions, but they can’t eliminate all risks posed by the weather.

Unforeseeable events like obstacles or wildlife suddenly appearing on the road may not be addressed by safety features. Poor road conditions, poor signage, and crumbling road surfaces—potholes—can cause accidents. Another cause of accidents is drivers who become too dependent on safety features. They might cause complacency and reduced attentiveness. This is known as “automation complacency” or “automation bias” and can lower the effectiveness of safety systems.

Another reason for accidents is that, in some cases, vehicles with different safety technologies may share the road. Lack of standardized communication methods has been known to cause accidents. As vehicles become more connected and automated, the risk of cybersecurity threats increases. Hackers can compromise safety features or even take control of the vehicle.

Last but not least, we have to acknowledge that driving just naturally involves risk. While safety features can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of accidents, they can’t eliminate the risk entirely.

Potential Ramifications of Passive Versus Active Safety Features in NJ Personal Injury Claims

In a personal injury case arising from a car accident, passive and active safety features can impact the outcome. Here’s an explanation:

Passive Safety Features

These features—airbags, seat belts, and crumple zones—reduce the severity of injuries, and they can all be used as evidence in a court case. If a plaintiff were injured in spite of these passive safety features, the defendant, often the other driver, could argue that these features reduced the extent of injuries and that the defendant’s actions were not the sole cause of the harm.

Active Safety Features

Active safety features, like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and collision avoidance systems, can provide a strong argument that the driver took precautions to avoid a collision. Driver monitoring systems can provide evidence of the driver’s behavior in the time leading up to the accident. For example, if a collision happened because the driver ignored warnings, that may have an effect on a judge’s assessment of liability. The effect of active safety features during an accident may need an expert to explain.

Combined Impact

Having both passive and active safety features in a car contributes to the safety record and reputation of a vehicle. Manufacturers often highlight these features in marketing materials, and their effectiveness can impact the perception of the vehicle’s safety in court.

If a driver had access to active safety features but chose not to pay attention to them or to disable them, it may be judged as negligent. If the active safety features failed to perform, however, it might provide a strong case for a product liability claim against the car’s manufacturer.

How Attorneys Handle Auto Accident Claims in New Jersey

Key Distinctions Between Active and Passive Systems Explained by Our Injury Lawyers in Mercer County, New Jersey

The team of accident lawyers at our New Jersey personal injury firm can help you navigate the legal complexities of your case and obtain fair compensation in several ways. We can provide you with legal advice on your exact situation and explain your rights and options. Our attorneys can also investigate the accident, and gather evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, and surveillance videos.

Attorneys, like the talented and experienced ones at Cohen & Riechelson, can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you don’t make statements that could be used against you. Establishing who is at fault is critical in an auto accident case. We utilize our expertise to analyze the evidence and figure out who can be held liable.

Additionally, we can figure out the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses you may have suffered. Negotiating a fair settlement with insurance companies is difficult. The attorneys at our firm are skilled negotiators. We can advocate for you to win you a higher amount of compensation and make sure that you are not pressured into accepting an unfairly low settlement.

Contact the Car Accident Lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson for a Free Review of Your Case in Mercer County and throughout Southern New Jersey

Having an experienced attorney by your side can significantly improve your chances of success in an auto accident / personal injury case in Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, Trenton, Ewing, and across Mercer County and New Jersey. We can handle the legal complexities, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

The attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson have years of experience with personal injury claims and will provide a free consultation to begin the evaluation of your case. Just call us at 609-528-2596 to set up a free appointment with one of our trusted accident lawyers today. We look forward to your call.