Why do cars and vehicle manufacturers not invent safer materials for their casings and bodies to prevent incidents on the road?
They are doing this, all the time. Cars today are vastly safer than even ten years ago, never mind 50 when I was starting.
It takes a lot of time, though. Imagine, design, fabricate, test, redesign, retest, government approvals, market, integrate into source and assembly pipelines, integrate into dealer and maintenance ecosystems, etc.
And some of these fail, costing millions.
To be honest, they ALL want to be the ones to come up with the Next Awesome Thing, and if there is a chance that they stumble upon something that cost efficiently gives them a market advantage, they won’t hesitate a second to start marketing it.
Some manufacturers have a long history of coming up with new safety features more or less every year. And if you look at those lists of safety features, you are going to realise that many, many things that we take for granted in cars today were considered to be game changers several decades ago.
Example: in the 60’s (or it if was earlier, I don’t remember for sure), cars were marketed as “extra safe” because the steering wheel had soft padding on it, you wouldn’t hurt your ribs as much in a collision if the wheel was cushioned a bit.
The three-point-belt was once a new safety feature that other manufacturers were quick to adapt.
The airbag is still a pretty damn expensive safety feature, but it’s more or less standard on all cars on all markets today.
Cars are USUALLY all plastic at the front nowadays. Have you asked yourself WHY? The answer is that a) you don’t always kill pedestrians if you bump into them any more and b) all modern cars have *deformation zones* in the metal frame nowadays, so that they fold in mysterious ways during a collision. Ruining the car, and often saving those in it from unavoidable death; the deformation zones are more predictable if there is some easily destructed plastic cosmetics in front of the metal frame.
In other words, they are DEFINITELY *trying* already.
They have done this and cars have become much safer. There are some fundamental restrictions on how safe a vehicle can be based on its size, though. No matter what a car is made of, if you go from 70mph to standstill over the five foot length of your hood, you’re going to be almost dead.
Cars are so much safer/better than they were in the past, even just a few years ago. The safety cage surrounding the passengers are stronger, the front and rear are designed to crumble and absorb much of the impact and reduce the force that passengers absorb. Airbags now surround passengers from every side. All sorts of electronic safety devices like lane assist, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, etc. all help keep the vehicle at a safe distance from other vehicles.
It’s never the case that vehicles (or anything really) can’t be invented or implemented, it is the fact that things like this will always be cost inhibitive. R&D and manufacturing costs will be passed on to consumers. Near-perfect, extremely safe cars CAN be done, but the average person would never be able to afford it. It takes decades for new materials and technologies to trickle down to consumer levels of affordability.