steering wheel

A Guide to Collapsible Steering Columns and Experiencing Impact

Various technologies have been created to make our lives easier, safer, and more efficient through the years. For instance, cars have become a staple part of our lives, and vehicle technology continues to increase in the efforts of using this modern wonder without the concurrent danger.

Fast modes of transportation are now readily available, with cars traveling at speeds of up to 155 mph. How safe is it to drive at these rates, and what safety solutions have been developed to alleviate the dangers of using vehicles today?

From the invention of a seatbelt to the concept of a collapsible steering column, all those things help make vehicles safer and enhance the motoring experience. Below, let’s explore how a collapsible column fits into the new car safety features and how they work.

Explaining Collapsible Steering Columns

Today’s norms demand vehicle safety. The latest vehicles have security features that were previously unheard of, such as a collapsible steering column.

The collapsible steering column protects the driver and passengers in an accident. In a collision, the steering column falls, shielding the driver and passengers.

The steering column is separated into two parts: a primary column made of metal and a foldable column made of plastic. Due to its unique design, the collapsible support column may be bent and rotated in a car crash without affecting the central support column.

As a result, it helps absorb the force of a crash, keeping the collapsible column straight and robust, protecting the driver and passengers from fatal injuries.

Collapsible steering columns were only used in luxury cars and sport utility vehicles in the past. Thankfully, since 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations now require all vehicles be equipped with collapsible steering columns.

Effect of Collapsible Steering Columns on Various Impacts

Frontal Impacts

A collapsible steering column protects the driver and passengers in frontal collisions. The steering column swings forward during impact, reducing the airbag effect on the driver and passengers.

As such, the collapsible steering column absorbs most of the impact, allowing the force to disperse.

Frontal Impact Severity (Low to High)

Frontal collisions are more damaging to moving objects, especially large solid ones. Crashing into a stationary object is far worse. Inverse or approaching impacts are the most severe, as the impact gradient rises with speed.

While cars are often designed to withstand collisions, other objects can also cause severe or fatal injuries. Collapsible steering columns protect the steering column from crushing the passengers, ejecting them after a crash.

Side Impacts

A collapsible steering column is also critical in the case of side collisions to protect the driver and passengers. When the vehicle’s frame hits the collapsible column, it absorbs the force or impact with the central column. In fact, an NHTSA accident testing shows the collapsible steering column reduced injuries by 50 percent.

Rear Impacts

In case of a rear crash, the collapsible steering column protects the passengers by absorbing most of the force. As a result, rear-end crashes produce less catastrophic injuries.


Rollovers pose a threat to vehicle passengers. Collapsible steering columns lessen rollover injuries by absorbing some impact before reaching the driver and passengers. In a rollover, the collapsible column functions as a buffer between the frame and the driver and passengers.


Since collapsible steering columns have been shown to efficiently absorb some force in an accident, the passengers are less likely to be seriously injured.

Accident Rates 

Collapsible steering columns have been shown to reduce rear-end and side collisions, decreasing automobile accidents and serious injuries.


You’ve just read a quick tutorial on how collapsible steering columns are essential in protecting drivers and passengers in a car accident. Collapsible steering columns can reduce the risk of airbag injuries to the driver and passengers. In addition, you do not need to replace collapsible steering columns after an accident. You can reuse them, making the cost of manufacturing less expensive.

Book an appointment with Safety Restore now if you need seat belt repairs or airbag module resets. Besides providing webbing replacements and instrument cluster repairs, we are the world’s leading provider of post-accident restorations and other services. Get in touch with us right away!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.


Subscribe. We never spam.