Just by looking at the difference in shape, we can see that cars have improved beyond recognition. But, as you know, the materials we use, the brake and impact mechanisms have also transformed over the years with increased focus on driver safety and impulse reduction. To have a curious conclusion on how things have changed since 1959, Chevrolet rammed a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air with a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. Here is the insightful video from the automaker:

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See how much far ahead we have come little by little in design advancement? The effigy in the 1959 car was almost squashed during the impact as the car was blown to smithereens. The steering wheel would have probably killed the driver on its own as it was dislodged and thrust into his body. In modern cars, the steering wheels packs a minimum number of rotating parts and no long shafts connecting it to the turning mechanism that can hurt the driver in an accident. The older car’s dashboard, engine and body are damaged beyond recognition, but the newer car absorbs as much impact on the front as possible leaving the driver with nothing worse than a few bumps and cracked bones. Amazing, isn’t it?