ZF, the German auto supplier, has been testing the effectiveness of external airbags, so Missouri drivers who keep up with the latest in vehicle safety tech may want to take notice. In 2018, ZF released the results of its testing, finding, among other things, that external airbags can lessen the severity of an occupant’s injuries by up to 40%.
External airbags deploy from the side of a vehicle, acting as a sort of pillow that absorbs the force of an impact. This additional crumple zone can thus prevent occupants from being too violently knocked around inside. Of course, the question is how to make the airbags deploy in the split second before a crash occurs.
There are already devices that can tighten one’s seat belt or adjust the suspension the moment prior to an accident. However, setting off airbags is another matter and will require further work before something like perfection can be achieved. There have been cases in the past of airbags deploying unnecessarily.
ZF, however, is optimistic that advances in camera, lidar (light detection and ranging), radar and ultrasonic tech will make a predictive system possible. ZF’s current external airbag weighs 13 pounds and deploys in an impressive 15 milliseconds, similar to the time it takes for steering wheel airbags to deploy.
Those who survive a car accident and believe the other party was to blame for their injuries may pursue a personal injury claim. Under the rule of comparative fault, plaintiffs are not barred from recovery if they are partially responsible, but the amount they recover will be lowered. For example, failure to wear a seat belt will speak against the plaintiff. To ensure as strong a case as possible, victims may want to get legal advice and guidance.