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What is a Steering Column?

Steering Column defined

How a car entertains with its cornering ability is one thing. The mechanics behind how it goes around a corner is another. The conventional steering arrangement for a motor vehicle is for the front wheels to be turned using a hand-operated steering wheel which is positioned in front of the driver, via the steering column . The steering column may contain universal joints to allow it to deviate somewhat from a straight line so as to access the best position on the steering gear assembly.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked and least talked about parts of the overall steering mechanism is the steering column. The steering column is a fixed, tube-like cover which engulfs the rotate-able steering shaft that is connected to the steering wheel at the top end and the steering box at the other.

For safety reasons, all modern cars feature a steering-column that will collapse in the event of a heavy frontal impact. This collapsible feature is so important because it ensures that excessive injuries to the driver via the steering column and shaft are avoided. Many avoidable deaths have occurred where non-collapsible steering columns have been driven like a spear through the driver’s body in the event of a heavy frontal impact. How grateful we should be for those who have taken the time to think about and design a steering column that collapses when a strong force strikes from the front.

Nowadays, the steering column includes deformation members and a geometrically stable segment positioned directly behind the steering wheel. This stable area supports the steering wheel and important airbag mechanism that inflates to protect the driver in a heavy frontal accident.

Collapsible steering columns were invented by Bela Barenyi and first appeared on cars built by General Motors. Thanks, mate!We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is a Steering Column?’!

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