Why Don’t Cars Have Ejection Seats?

Ejection seats are always in the movies and seem like they’d be much more prominent in life. However, they aren’t used in any cars as a safety tool. Unfortunately, life isn’t a Fast and Furious movie, and Kia doesn’t specialize in launching owners into the air. Why don’t cars have ejection seats? They’re used in fighter planes, and even those are dangerous.

Not even race cars have ejection seats

In short, it’s very dangerous to use an ejection seat at all, let alone inside a car. The first answer is that most vehicles have a roof. For a seat with launching capability to work correctly, the person in the seat would need to fly upward. Obviously, that’s not possible when they’re inside a car, as they’d hit their head with enough force to probably cause death. However, even in a convertible, ejection seats are extremely dangerous.

According to BRIGHT SIDE, fighter planes use ejection seats if the pilots are in danger. However, they’re only a last resort option when the passenger and pilot need to ditch the plane and parachute to safety. The YouTube channel states that it only takes two seconds from pulling the ejection seat handle to deploying the parachute. “It’s an unpleasant experience, to put it lightly,” BRIGHT SIDE said.

Why are ejection seats dangerous?

Fighter planes have ejection seats, so why don't cars? It's dangerous.
Fighter plane | Georgi Paleykov/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When a person pulls the handle and ejection begins, their spine “absorbs tremendous G-Force.” Whether true or not, a pilot who once experienced an ejection seat said he lost a full inch in height. In short, it’s for emergencies only and isn’t as fun as it might look. Fighter planes also use explosives to lift the roof or shatter the glass before ejecting the passenger.

Explosives around the outside of the glass above the person’s head will shatter the glass just as they fly through. As a result, the person isn’t impacted by the explosion or the broken glass. Instead, they fly through the air to safety, though they’re probably not feeling very good from the force of the ejection.

You don’t want an ejection seat in your car

Seat belt reminder IIHS Subaru Forester top rating
The 2022 Subaru Forester earned top IIHS ratings for its seat belt reminder system | Subaru of America, Inc.

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Other than G-Force and a roof, there are more reasons cars don’t have ejection seats. For example, the place where you’re ejecting is probably hazardous. Inside a plane, you’re in the air, and ejection gives you time to float to a safe location. However, you’re close to the ground inside a car and likely only have a few seconds before landing. If you’re in the middle of a highway when ejecting, the likelihood of getting hit by a car before or after landing is very high.

BRIGHT SIDE says cars use airbags and impact-absorbing technology to make people safer. Ejection seats are a colossal wildcard to play every time there’s danger. Airbags provide the driver and passengers with a safety cushion if an accident is unavoidable. They’re helpful far more often than not and give minimal risk. Using an ejectable seat in a car would be a coin flip of whether it saves the driver or passenger or makes things far worse.

Flying cars could use ejection seats

In conclusion, you don’t want ejection seats in modern cars. Flying cars could use them because they’re safer to use when you’re further off the ground. There are many reasons why ejection seats are too dangerous to use in a car. For example, roofs aren’t removable (not now, Wrangler owners), airbags are safer, and landing isn’t easy. Not to mention, the G-Force the seats create is enough to make you shorter.

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