Safety for Pedestrians

March 14, 2012 by ootmar  
Filed under Vancouver Automotive Blog

Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are becoming more and more frequent.  Drivers are becoming more distracted when they’re driving.  Even with the ban of cellphone usage while operating a vehicle, how many times do you see someone on their phones when you’re stopped at a light?  However, drivers are not the only cause of these accidents.  I’ve seen countless times within the past week where pedestrians are dressed in all black winter cloths walking at night.  Even with the latest HID, High Intensity Discharge, headlight systems, we still can’t see them on a cold, wet, dark Vancouver days. There has been several safety measure put into place to protect the occupants inside a motor vehicle, for example, airbags. But what about pedestrians?

In 1973, General Motors started to equipped their some vehicles with airbags.  Specifically in the higher end Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac models. In 1986, Mercedes-Benz fitted their S-Class vehicles with the first dual passenger airbag system as standard options.  The 1994 Audi A8 was the first vehicle to be equipped with six airbags in a vehicle.  The 1995 Volvo 850 was the first vehicle to be fitted with side impact airbag systems and the BMW 7 series was the first vehicle with a head airbag system in 1997.  

Volvo has now gone one step farther and has designed the first external airbag system to protect pedestrians.  The airbag is fitted and the base of the windshield, right where the hood is located. In an event of contacting a pedestrian, the hood unlatches, and the “U” shaped airbag deploys at the base of the windshield protecting the pedestrian.

Here is a short video of how the system works:

For more information, please visit the “Autoblog” website at: