How Do Side Impact Door Beams Work?

by Marit Anderson
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car image by Muhammad Umair Tahir from

When a crash results from a side impact, door beams can help protect passengers. Without door beams there is little keeping a passenger from the point of impact. As of 2010, fairly standard safety equipment allows for side impact door beams to provide a safer ride.

Side Impact Door Beams

Side impact door beams are a safety feature of modern cars designed to protect the driver and passengers. When a crash occurs, door beams work by absorbing the energy created during the collision.


Side impact door beams can be made of steel or aluminum. Steel door beams result in a heavier vehicle, making for a more stable frame for the car. However, heavier cars also use more fuel to operate and are therefore being replaced by aluminum beams. Aluminum beams provide the same type of safety feature with less weight making the vehicle more fuel efficient and lightweight.


With the increasing size and height of vehicles on the road, including SUVs and vans, side impact beams have become a more popular safety feature for cars of all sizes. The beams provide extra protection during instances when smaller cars may be struck by a larger SUV.

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