Throughout the years automakers have added many safety features to the cars and trucks that roll off the assembly line. Such safety features are designed to increase the chances of vehicle occupants surviving a car crash and minimize any injuries that are suffered. While many of those features are required, some carmakers choose to include other safety features on their own accord.
Recently, it was announced that Volvo has included a new safety feature on some of its vehicles. Some of its V40 models will come equipped with external airbags. While driver and passenger side airbags are designed to protect those inside of vehicle, the external airbags are meant to save the lives of pedestrians who may come into contact with the moving vehicle.
The airbags are not the only feature designed to improve safety for walkers and bicyclists .They work in conjunction with a system that automatically stops a vehicle when it determines that someone has entered the path of the vehicle. That system is designed to stop vehicles travelling as fast as 21 miles per hour. The airbags can deploy when the car is travelling between 12 and 30 miles per hour.
The vehicles containing these new safety features are currently not slated to make an appearance in the United States. This news comes despite the fact that while fatal accidents involving other vehicles in the country are down, fatal collisions in which a pedestrian is killed are on the rise. It will be interesting to see if this type of technology is adopted in the U.S. anytime soon.
Source: Popsci.com, “Volvo’s New Exterior Airbags Protect Pedestrians,” Shaunacy Ferro, Feb. 20, 2013