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The blow-up seatbelt: Invention that promises greater crash protection in rear car seats

The blow-up seatbelt: Invention that promises greater crash protection in rear car seats

•Blow-up belts, which will be available from next year, inflate in less than 40 milliseconds

By Ray Massey

 
..Inflatable rear seatbelts are to be fitted in cars in Britain for the first time.

The blow-up belts, which combine the restraint of a seatbelt with the protective cushioning of an airbag, will be available from next year.

Ford said the seatbelts would inflate almost instantly in an accident to protect the fragile bones and vulnerable organs of a young child or grandparent sat in the back of its family cars.

 Instant response: The air-belt is deployed in less than 40 milliseconds
 
Safety first: The air-belt promises greater crash protection

The company announced its plans yesterday at its research and technology centre in Aachen, Germany, where the ‘air-belts’ have been tested to ensure they comply with European Union safety legislation.
They will be available in Europe as an optional extra costing about £250 in the new Ford Mondeo, which will be on sale from the middle of next year for about £17,000.

It is likely that the technology will soon be offered in Ford’s other cars, but a spokesman said it would not share it with its rivals.

The firm’s seatbelt engineer Joerg Doering said the seatbelts had been designed specifically for back-seat passengers, who do not have the protection of airbags.

He said the aim was ‘to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, [who are] often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries’.

Mr Doering added: ‘In everyday use, the inflatable belts operate like conventional seatbelts and  are safe and compatible with booster seats.

'But in the event of an accident, the belt rapidly expands to disperse crash forces across a body area five times greater than that achieved by a conventional seatbelt.

‘We’ve tested the system extensively using our entire crash test dummy family, and it offers extra protection over the standard  rear seatbelt system.’

The inflatable seatbelts are activated when crash sensors dotted around the car detect a sudden impact accident.

They deploy fully in less than  40 milliseconds.

Unlike airbags, which are typically activated with heat-generating chemical reactions, the new seatbelts are inflated with cold compressed gas from a cylinder housed below the rear seat. 

This will prevent passengers  from receiving burns.
 

Global , Traffic Safety

Date: 10/17/2012 8:40:39 AM

By: YASA WEB , YASA
 
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