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Posts Tagged ‘side-impact crashes’

GM Introduces World’s First Front-Center Airbag

New system should reduce side-impact crash deaths, injuries.

by on Sep.29, 2011

Crash dummies demonstrte General Motors' new front-center air bag during a side impact collision .

General Motors will introduce the world’s first front-center airbag, a technology the maker claims can help reduce injuries and fatalities in side-impact crashes.

There was a time when manufacturers played a numbers game with cupholders, but these days, it seems, they’re focused on a more significant bit of math: how many airbags they can squeeze into a vehicle.

While this may be a bit of one-upsmanship, it clearly does deliver benefits that go beyond the ability to have two cups of coffee readily at hand at any moment.  A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for example, lists the expanded use of airbags as one of the reasons why the number of deaths in crashes involving a car and a SUV have dropped by as much as two-thirds over the last decade.  (For more on that story, Click Here.)

“The front center airbag has real potential to save lives in side crashes,” said Adrian Lund, president of the insurance Institute for Highway Safety, during a joint news conference with General Motors.


Voluntary Crash Compatibility Agreement Achieved

September vehicle production sees 100% compliance.

by on Sep.28, 2009

People aren't compatible with truck grilles.

People aren't compatible with truck grilles.

Automakers have completed a voluntary agreement whereby all new cars and light trucks are now designed to be more compatible in front- and side-impact crashes.

Since launching the agreement in 2003, manufacturers have been increasing the percentage of vehicles with the “compatibility engineering,” by matching the front structural components of different vehicles so that they align.

This simple design change enhances the vehicle’s ability to manage and absorb crash energy. The agreement covers BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) field studies support the substantial real-world benefits of the re-designed vehicles. The fatality rate of belted car drivers in frontal crashes with 2000-03 model light trucks during 2000-04 was 19% lower when the light trucks already met the criteria than when they did not. The research also found a 19% reduction in car driver fatality rates when the cars were struck in the side by light trucks meeting the criteria.

Buckle Up!

Buckle Up!

To improve head protection in cars struck in the side, the automakers have also installed head-protecting enhancements such as side airbags. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) research indicates that side airbags with head protection are reducing driver fatality risk by about 37% percent in crashes involving the driver’s side of the vehicle.