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External airbag technology could reduce injury risk

External airbags might soon be more common on New York roads. A company that designs and manufactures the airbags, ZF, has released research indicating that external airbags can reduce the severity of crash injuries by as much as 40%. The airbags are designed to inflate on the outside of the vehicle immediately before a collision and act as an extra buffer or crumple zone, reducing the force of the impact.

The largest challenge for the external airbag industry is making deployment happen as intended. The vehicle safety systems must first detect that a crash is about to occur, then deploy the external airbags immediately before. Some vehicles already use sensors and technology to make adjustments before a crash, but these adjustments are generally limited to factors like suspension corrections and seat belt tightening. A large airbag exploding on the side of a vehicle is more drastic.

ZF believes it will be able to solve the problem of correct, timely deployment thanks to advances in technologies like radar, lidar and ultrasonics. The current ZF external airbag design is almost 80 inches long, 15 inches wide and 21 inches high. It inflates in 15 milliseconds, which is similar to the inflation time of a traditional airbag in a steering wheel. Technological advancements continue to make cars safer, but they cannot prevent all car accidents.

Someone who is injured in a car accidents in New York may be entitled to obtain compensation for lost wages, medical bills or other damages. A lawyer with experience practicing personal injury law could help a plaintiff by examining the facts of the situation and gathering evidence to build a case. Legal counsel might be able to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party or draft and file a complaint for relief in civil court.