Road safety


Bad driving causes accidents, 1919

2 mins. 15 secs.           
A vivid road safety educational film showing the effects of bad driving on busy streets. There are car crashes aplenty as every type of bad driving practice is demonstrated.

Parade of signs to highlight dangers on the road, c1925

1 min. 5 secs
In a novel road safety campaign to try and reduce accidents, damaged cars are paraded along a busy city street warning motorists of the effect of bad driving. Meanwhile, other cars and trucks in the parade contain poignant safety messages.

Better tires save lives, 1949

2 mins. 55 secs.         
Great footage of cars of post-war America in this dramatic road safety film which includes lots of traffic accidents and the need to use high-qaulity tires.

California crash tests, 1954

51 secs                      
Special crash cars and life-size dummies are prepared by researchers from the University of California for a series of brutal tests which provide valuable information for automotive engineers of the future.

Demonstration of dangerous driving, 1934

1 min. 9 secs.           
Another road safety film from the early 1930s where cars are crashed into each other to warn of the dangers of bad driving. In the final dramatic scenario, a car is sent over the edge of a cliff and smashes to the ground on impact, before bursting into flames.

Crash testing, 1930

49 secs                          
In what would be regarded as crude car testing by today's standards, this film shows a series of full-blooded head-on car crashes being recorded on film to show how much damage there has been to the cars afterwards.

Dramatic American road safety film from the 1930s

6 mins. 30 secs.              
Informative and well-made 1930s dramatic road safety film which gives the driver a number of dilemmas when he is on the road. The film contains plenty of excellent footage of cars and roads of the time and also includes plenty of good safety advice which is just as useful today.

Driving safely, 1930s

2 mins.                            
Brief road safety film showing that while cars of the 1930s might be safer then the past, drivers should still drive cautiously as many roads still invite danger.

General Super Squeegee tire, 1949

3 mins. 42 secs                
A drama documentary which shows that by using a General Super Squeegee tire, a car will stop much quicker in wet conditions.

How to stay safe on the road, 1935

3 mins. 39 secs            
A film showing how the new "modern" car of the 1930s is fitted with a range of safety features and how the driver of the time can also help to reduce accidents.

Miami police launch new traffic initiative, 1939

1 mins. 29 secs.                  
In a new road safety initiative, Miami police fix a small movie camera to a giant balloon so they can watch traffic movements at the busiest junctions below.

New road safety initiative. Police measure speed with gun shots, 1939

1 min. 15 secs                  
Indiana police use gun shots fired into the ground to test the speed of drivers.

New road safety invention, 1935

35 secs.                              
Another new 1930s road safety innovation. This time a new contraption on the front of cars effectively "scoops-up" a person if they are hit head-on by a car.

Safer roads in London, 1930

46 secs                                 
Dramatical demonstration of a new life saving bumper. A "willing" volunteer literally throws himself in front of a moving truck to show that when he is subsequently hit by the vehicle, he is simply rolled along the ground, rather than suffering major injuries.

Safety film from the 1930s advising on best driving techniques

7 mins. 1 sec.                          
A 1930s documentary providing hands-on guidance to the motorists of the day as to how they can improve their driving skills and thereby reduce the number of accidents on the road. It includes great footage of cars and city streets from the period.

The launch of the tubeless tire, 1947

51 secs                                 
The tubeless tyre is launched.

Traffic safety innovation, 1936

1 min. 24 secs                           
The Detroit police introduce a new road safety car which enables police officers to "talk" to bad drivers on the street.

Car crash tests, 1973

1 min. 17 secs                        
Brief film showing a dramatic crash test footage from the early 1970s as part of a US nationwide program to improve car safety.

US police use hoists to catch speeding drivers, 1937

44 secs             
In an idea almost too simple to be believe, 1930s police officers use a hoist and hook to slow down speeding motorists. The idea works in this example, but was clearly never used again.

"Pumpkin" road safety commercial, 1979

39 secs                     
This brief but devastating American road safety commercial shows the damage done to a pumpkin when it is hit at 30 miles per hour. As the narrator says, a human would suffer the same effects if it was in the same collision.

1960s car crash testing

3 mins. 15 secs             
An excellent documentary showing crash testing in Britain in the early 1960s. Many of the popular cars of the period are destroyed in the name of crash worthiness. The models featured include a Series 11 Land Rover, an e-type Jaguar, an MGB and others.