5 Car Innovations Everyone Should Be Thankful For

Before long we’ll be in Downtown Cleveland, looking at the beautiful Christmas decorations.  From Akron to Parma Heights, we’ll be knee deep in snow, shoveling our driveways for an hour every morning so we can get our cars out and go to work.  We’ll be adding up all of our receipts from shopping at Southpark Mall and wondering how our credit card balances got so high.  Ah the joys of the holidays.

But before we get to December, we have one special day in November where we carve a turkey, watch some football and talk with our family about all of the things that we are thankful for:


Seat Belts

The first seat belts arrived in taxis in New York City back in 1885 to help keep tourists safe around the city.  They have helped keep motorists safe ever since.  According to 2014 stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “more than half of teens and people aged 13-44 who died in crashes (in 2014) were unrestrained at the time of crash.” So this Thanksgiving, eat up and then buckle up.

Automatic Transmission

There are certainly some “gearheads” that will always have a soft spot for shifting their own gears.  For the rest of us, automatic transmission has made the art of driving much easier and more satisfying. The first fully automatic transmission was GM’s “Hydra-Matic,” unveiled in 1940.  Many are thankful that they never had to learn how to drive stick, as currently less than 3% of cars sold in the U.S. have manual transmissions.

Power Steering

Believe it or not, power steering got its start all the way back in the 1920s, when cars still resembled a “horseless carriage.” After WWII Chrysler implemented “Hydraguide” into their Imperial, and for the first time, the technology wasn’t just for the privileged.  If you’ve ever tried to steer one of the old “boats” our parents and grandparents drove pre-power steering, you know of the struggle.


The inventor of the early airbag, John Hetrick, came up with the idea after a car accident in which he and his wife restrained their 7-year-old daughter using the old “put your arm out and act like a human seat belt technique.”  Hetrick had experience working on torpedoes, of all things, and applied the instant inflation, compressed air principles that powered the devices to the early airbag concept. In 1991, Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, and that required that all new cars for sale in the U.S. be equipped with front seat airbags. Many are enjoying that turkey this year thanks to an airbag that activated during a crash.


At Rad Air, we are always thankful for our customers, and their cars.  But there are also some incredible car innovations that we are extra thankful for.  Where would we be without these 5 car innovations that we should all be thankful for this November?

Rad Air thanks you for checking out our blog, and we are excited for you to come see us for a fall vehicle inspection and maintenance visit.  Don’t wait until the snow falls—get your vehicle ready for driving in Northeast Ohio’s snowy winter with the pros at Rad Air.

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