Steel: Helping to Keep You and Your Family Safe During the Summer Travel Season

Steel-making your vehicle safer and more fuel efficient

  • Steel is the leading material used in auto bodies and safety cages because its superior strength, durability and cost-effective performance help protect drivers and their families when accidents occur.

  • In today's automobile manufacturing, occupant safety has become one of the leading marketing characteristics of motor vehicles. Vehicle crashworthiness as measured in standardized crash tests is currently ranked by the consumer at a level equal to cost, quality, styling, ride and handling, and fuel economy.

  • Steel industry surveys show that consumers understand the importance of steel in automotive safety. When asked which automobile components protect themselves and their family in a car, the respondents' top three choices have been seat belts, steel frames (the steel safety cage) and steel side-impact beams (placed inside car doors to better protect passengers in side-impact collisions).

  • Auto and driver safety are priorities as the steel industry strives to make the nation's roads safer for the future. We look at steel in a car as the consumer’s "last line of defense" in the event of an accident. Through safety information and education efforts, we hope they never have to use it.

  • American steelmakers are at the forefront of developing advanced steel materials and manufacturing technologies for future vehicles that can achieve higher fuel efficiency standards without compromising safety. Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) require less energy to produce than other automotive structural material, make lighter parts that reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel economy, and are fully recyclable. These new steels benefit the vehicle in three vital areas of a vehicle’s life: manufacturing, driving, and end-of-life recycling. Consequently, they are the fastest-growing material in new vehicles today. The fastest-growing automotive material, advanced high strength steels -- with their low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-- insure that the entire vehicle life cycle leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

Steel frame carriage from Great Designs in Steel

Steely support for the highways and roads your vehicle will be navigating

Highways constructed with steel-reinforced concrete pavement provide a rigid surface that reduces rolling resistance, resulting in better fuel economy and long-term smooth ride for motorists.

Pavement resurfacing is more efficient with the use of continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP), in which steel is an important material component. Major state highway agencies, (TX, IL, GA, VA, OK and CA) use CRCP for its lower life-cycle cost; competitive initial cost; minimal maintenance requirement; ability to handle the heaviest trucks, loads and volume; and its comfortable drive.

During the first 20 years of its service life, a CRCP pavement requires virtually no maintenance, and there is significant reduction in the need for periodic surface treatment. That means fewer traffic delays and reduced accident incidents for all of us during summer travel. Additionally with the reduction in roadway reconstruction and associated delays the amount of gas used and CO2 emitted by vehicles are greatly reduced.

CRCP is made of many constituents coming from recycled products, including steel from 100% scrap. CRCP has a long service life, which saves raw materials and therefore contributes to sustainable development. At the ultimate stage, CRCP will be recycled into materials to be used for concrete and steel products.

 Kids traveling in summer

Steel—making bridges we cross stronger and safer and greener

Bridges utilizing High-Performance Steel (HPS) provide superior solutions in terms of strength, reliability, safety, cost and overall performance. They also offer aesthetic and environmental benefits.

High-Performance Steel for bridges was introduced into the marketplace in the late 1990s. Today, an estimated 300+ HPS bridges are in use in 44 states.

The advantages of short span bridges designed with steel include their durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of construction and maintenance. The speed of installation for steel short span bridges means minimal disruption to bridge users, including families on the road for summer vacations.

Scenic bridge in West Virgina