der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 16

W H Y

M Y

F A M I L Y

A N D

I

W I L L

Shapiro was referring clearly showed that isolating the occupants from the
forces of a collision was not a high priority for vehicle designers of the
1940s. Many may not remember that vehicle seat belts were not made
mandatory until the early 1960s; I wonder how many of us remember the
1960s era public service TV commercials that encouraged the use of seat
belts. Back then, there was a widespread false impression that it was much
safer to be thrown clear of the vehicle during a collision or that a person
could appropriately brace themselves during a collision to avoid injury.
As the vehicle structural engineers gained a much better understanding
of collision physics, especially the loads that unprotected occupants would
experience in a collision, they used engineering principles to transform their
view of a vehicle from being a monolithic solid object to a system of springs
and masses.
For BMWs, the components which comprise this complex system of
springs and masses range from the molecular level (the molecules of the
materials used in the structure, powertrain, and suspension), the microscopic (the grain size from the heat-treated metals used in the aforementioned
areas), and the macroscopic (seat design, seatbelt tensioner design, component crumple zone placement, competent "break point" design).
By the way, the airbag deployment is an action of last resort. While the
airbags are designed to quickly push one against the seat as the seatbelt
tensioners are applied, the force is the equivalent of being punched
in the nose.
From my recent experience, it's clear that the occupant-isolation design
worked very well. The seatbelt tensioners gently held us in the structurally
sound, ergonomically designed seats. The loads from the severe rear and
front impacts were transmitted to components that surrounded the passenger
compartment, with metal panels crumpling, and brackets and mounts
breaking to dissipate the energy. The vehicle electrical system was immediately shut off and the fuel tank spill avoidance systems worked as designed.

A L W A Y S

D R I V E

B M W S

The only leaks from my 135i following that collision were from the coolant
and windshield washer system.
Within moments following those two impacts, my daughter and I
looked at each other and our surroundings. I pushed the BMW SOS button
(the BMW Assist had already been activated) and we both unbuckled our
seat belts and rushed out to help the others. Later, it occurred to both of us
that our doors opened easily. Upon further inspection, I noticed how all the
front and rear structural, suspension, and powertrain components crumpled
or broke in order to isolate the passenger compartment, including the doors,
from the impact forces. The interior was still in the showroom condition that
one would expect from being owned and cared for by an obsessive BMW
enthusiast (I know, that's redundant).
So Mr. Shapiro, collisions between modern vehicles no longer sneer at
physics; rather, they embrace it. While my 135i died doing its job, the
fact that my daughter and I walked away from a very severe collision is
proof of that.
(Below) Rear seat, after the collision.

(Below Left) Rear crumple zone worked. (Below Right) Another look at the
rear crumple zone.

16

derBayerische



der Bayerische May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of der Bayerische May/June 2020

No label
Intro page
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
THE STEERING COLUMN
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
COMING EVENTS
January 2020 DIY at Bimmer Works
NCC's 2020 Annual Meeting and Banquet
Matt Curry's Craftsman Auto Care Sponsor Spotlight
Why My Family and I Will Always Drive BMWs
Life with the 2020 G29 Z4 M40i
A BMW Performance Center Delivery Story
Window Tint Can Protect Your Health
The Difference Between Wants and Needs
The Habits of Highly Effective Autocrossers: Interview-Jeff Noyes
NEW MEMBERS LIST
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Intro page
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Cover1
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Cover2
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 1
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - THE STEERING COLUMN
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - COMING EVENTS
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - January 2020 DIY at Bimmer Works
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 7
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - NCC's 2020 Annual Meeting and Banquet
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 9
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 10
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 11
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Matt Curry's Craftsman Auto Care Sponsor Spotlight
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 13
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 14
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Life with the 2020 G29 Z4 M40i
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 16
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 17
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 18
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 19
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 20
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - A BMW Performance Center Delivery Story
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 22
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 23
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 24
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Window Tint Can Protect Your Health
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 26
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 27
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - The Difference Between Wants and Needs
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 29
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 30
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - The Habits of Highly Effective Autocrossers: Interview-Jeff Noyes
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 32
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 33
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 34
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - NEW MEMBERS LIST
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - 36
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Cover3
der Bayerische May/June 2020 - Cover4
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