With any car, it’s important to learn all of the ins and outs about how it works and so that you can keep it running at its best for many years to come. While most consumers have a tendency to focus on the maintenance aspects or stereo system, we often forget to consider the protective measures
in our cars, like seatbelts or airbags. The airbag, however, is undergoing some improvements that you may see in your next vehicle.
A little history about the airbag:
As most people know, airbags rapidly inflate during an accident to protect passengers from injuries. Since they were first commercially introduced in the 1970’s, airbags have become the standard for safety. Today, airbags are typically found in the steering wheel and dashboard, but sometimes are placed along the side panels as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
estimates that as of Jan. 1, 2009, more than 28,000 people were alive because of frontal airbags. The Institute for Highway Safety found that side airbags with head protection reduce a car driver's risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37 percent and an SUV driver's risk by 52 percent. With facts like that, it’s easy to see why airbags are so important.
The newest developments in airbag technology:
General Motors recently announced that they will begin putting a center airbag in some of their crossover SUVs. According to GM, the airbag could help prevent 29% of fatalities in side-impact crashes, as well as preventing head and spinal injuries that occurs when passengers are jerked from side-to-side.
reports that, “In the event of a side impact, the so-called Front Center Airbag will deploy from the side of the driver's seat opposite the door. Its purpose is to prevent the passenger and driver from smacking into each other and to keep the driver from wrenching over too far to the side, when driving solo. It's also expected to help during rollover crashes.”
Another GM innovation
in airbags comes in the form of their 2012 Chevy Sonic, which offers 10 airbags strategically placed around the car. According to Motor Trend, the Sonic has 10 sensors mounted around the car’s frame, which determines whether the airbags should deploy. Additional locations of the airbags includes the backseat—airbags are seat-mounted for passenger safety in case of a side impact.
As car-based innovation continues, is this just the first step of many to make our cars safer? GM is taking initiative for improving crash ratings with its Front Center Airbag, but we want to know what other changes are on the horizon. Have you heard about any new safety innovations? Tweet us @WeBuyAnyCarUSA