Car safety technology is an essential element of the vehicle and many car companies are preferring to install latest safety technologies in their vehicles. The safety features are important for every vehicle because the safety of its riders is the main focus for every company. With the passage of time, many latest technologies have been introduced and the companies continue to improve these features.
There are many safety technologies available in the market and one of the main and mandatory car safety technology is airbags. Now, a days before buying a vehicle people always ask about the safety features and especially about airbags. As many as airbags are fitted in the vehicles, there will be the more chances of the safety of the riders.
Airbags: A Car Safety Technology
Airbags are not a new technology in car safety and these airbags are specially designed to secure the riders of the vehicle from any serious injuries or from fatal accidents. These are made of a flexible fabric bag, an airbag cushion, inflation module and an impact sensor. With the combination of seat belts the airbags work best and during a journey make sure that you are seating in the vehicle in the best way.
The airbags will save the riders from injuries as there is always a chance that the upper body and the head of the riders will collide to the interior of the vehicle and that may result in injuries or fatal accidents. Airbags have a silicon coating and the silicon plays a significant role in airbags that saves people from fatal accidents and from injuries.
History of Airbags
The history of airbag go backs to the year 1951, an airbag is one of the car safety gadgets and the German engineer Walter Linderer and American John W. Hetrick takes the credit to introduce the airbags. The airbags were made on a compressed air system and those airbags were released either by a bumper or by the driver. In 1960, the research found that these airbags are not safe and are not able to provide a faster and maximum safety level to the riders. The invention of German engineer Walter Linderer and American John W. Hetrick was called an impractical system by the researchers.
In 1964, in Japan, a Yasuzaburou Kobori, started the development of airbags safety net and he was also awarded patents in 14 countries, but in 1975 without seeing the extensive approval of airbags he died.
In 1967, Allen K. Breed invented a mechanically based ball in a tube for crash detection and this invention is considered to be a breakthrough in the history of airbags. The electromechanical sensor with a steel ball was attached to a tube through a magnet that inflates an airbag in less than 30 milliseconds. For the very first time, instead of compressed air, the manufacturers used a small explosion of sodium azide.
In 1971, the Ford Company installed the airbags as an experiment, in 1973, the General Motors fitted the airbags in their Chevrolet model vehicles and those vehicles were only sold to the government. Oldsmobile Toronado was the first company who introduces the airbags for passengers in 1973.
Types of Airbags
Airbags are not a new technology in the car safety and there are many types of airbags that are fitted in the vehicle to save the riders. The types of airbags are as follows:
Side airbags protect the driver and passengers from injuries and fatal accidents from sides of the vehicle. Advanced vehicles are fitted with side airbags, the side airbags are also called curtain airbags and they protect your head from injuries.
Side Torso Airbag
Side torso airbags also protect the riders from injuries, the torso airbags are fitted at the door panel. These airbags save the riders from the injuries of the lower abdomen and pelvic injuries. Latest vehicles are fitted with two types of side torso airbags, one at a lower chamber for the pelvic region and the other at the softer upper chamber for the rib cage.
Side Tubular or Curtain Airbag
Airbags are the car safety gadgets and side tubular or curtain airbag is one of the types of airbags. Side tubular or curtain airbags were firstly fitted in the BMW 7 series and in 5 series in the year 1998. These airbags are designed to protect the head from injuries and the fatalities.
It is said that the curtain airbags can protect up to 45% from injuries. Latest vehicles are now fitted with the curtain airbags and especially SUVs and MPVs have a facility of side tubular or curtain airbags and they protect the driver and passengers of all 3 rows.
The knee airbags are designed to save the legs of the riders from serious injuries, the knee airbags are fitted directly at the front of the passenger’s knee, at the lower portion of the dashboard. If the collision occurs the knee airbags automatically fill the gap between the passenger’s knee and the dashboard and save them from injuries.
Rear Curtain Airbag
Rear curtain airbags are now the part of almost every vehicle, these airbags are designed to save the riders and passengers from side injuries and to reduce the ratio of fatalities. Toyota was the first company who featured the rear curtain airbags in their new model iQ micro car in 2008. Toyota featured the vehicle with rear curtain airbags to protect the head of rear riders from the serious injuries.
Seat Cushion Airbag
Seat cushion airbags are fitted to protect the passengers and driver from injuries and it will also reduce the ratio of fatalities. Seat cushion airbag was first time fitted in the Toyota iQ and this airbag was fitted to prevent the pelvis during a frontal impact from driving below the lap belt.
Center airbag is the part of one of the car safety gadgets named as airbags, these airbags are fitted at the center of two front passengers seats. Toyota was the first company to introduce the center airbags in 2009 to save the riders and to reduce the ratio of fatalities.
Seat Belt Airbag
Seat belt airbags are designed to save the riders from injuries, during a collision these airbags appears at the safety belts and it increased the seat belt area. The seat belt airbag reduces the possible injuries on a chest and to the rib cage. In 2009, the Mercedes ESF was the first vehicle that was fitted with the seat belt airbag and this experiment remained successful.
Pedestrian airbag is one of the types of an airbag that is a new technology in car safety. This type of airbag was designed to save the pedestrians from possible injuries and to reduce the ratio of fatalities. At the time of a collision, the airbags appear at the hard part of the vehicle that includes bumper, pillars and at the edges of the bonnet. Volvo was the first company who introduces the pedestrian airbag in their new model V40 in the 2012 and it was a successful invention.
The maintenance of the airbags is an essential thing as they may get damaged during a service of the vehicle or they may not work properly after a certain period of time. Many of the companies especially the Mercedes Benz has set a certain period of time and they strictly instruct people to change the airbags of their vehicle after a specific period of time to ensure the safety during a collision.
In Germany, only the specific mechanics are allowed to service the airbags as they carry a harmful explosive material and that may cause any accident to untrained mechanics. Volvo is the only company who claimed that the airbags of their vehicles do not need a replacement as they are absolutely fit for every Volvo vehicle and they give a lifetime guarantee.
Airbags are one of the essential car safety technology, nowadays almost every vehicle is fitted with airbags. The companies are bringing revolutionary changes in the airbags to give a safe journey to its riders. Before buying a vehicle people always asked about the safety features and airbags are the vital part of safety features. Safety features are important, but one should always take care of the maintenance of the airbags to remain to save from injuries and to reduce the ratio of fatalities.