West Virginia residents may have heard that some car parts manufacturers are developing external airbags. ZF is one of those manufacturers, and it has recently come out with safety data and a strategy for developing airbags that may prompt others to consider the technology. According to reports, external airbags can reduce the severity of crash injuries by as much as 40 percent.
ZF is developing its own external airbags that deploy from the sides of a vehicle to protect occupants against side-impact crashes. They act as a massive pillow, adding to the crumple zone and absorbing some of the force of the crash. The dimensions vary depending on the vehicle size, but an airbag weighs approximately 13 pounds.
Current predictive systems do nothing so drastic as deploying airbags; some tighten the occupants' seatbelts if they detect an impending crash, and others adjust the suspension. However, there are concerns about the sensors not picking up a crash, the airbags not deploying in time and even the airbags deploying at unnecessary times.
ZF's airbags are able to inflate in 15 milliseconds, similar to steering wheel airbags. This is impressive considering their greater size. ZF believes that lidar, radar, ultrasonics and camera technology have been advancing so much that the company can eventually put the above concerns to rest. Nevertheless, it may be a while before external airbags are perfected.
In the meantime, drivers must continue to watch against negligent behavior. Those who are injured in a traffic accident will want to find out just how far the other driver was negligent; that way, they can determine if they are eligible to recover damages. This is where legal representation may come in. A lawyer might take advantage of his or her network of investigators, medical experts and other third parties to strengthen a case before continuing to negotiations.