Modern cars now come standard with airbags as a critical safety element. They quickly deploy and put a cushion between the occupants and the interior of the car to protect the driver and passengers in the event of a collision. This article will examine the creation and history of airbags in automobiles as well as its purpose and significance.
History and Development of Airbags
In the 1950s, retired naval engineer John W. Hetrick created the first airbag prototype. After experiencing a near-fatal accident while travelling with his family, Hetrick was motivated to develop the airbag. The car industry initially disregarded his concept because of issues with cost and dependability.
Airbags didn’t start to become widely used in the car industry until the 1970s. General Motors released the first airbag that was sold commercially in 1973. All new automobiles were required to include driver-side airbags by the early 1990s, and by the late 1990s, the majority of new vehicles had both driver and passenger airbags.
In the event of a collision, airbags are made to immediately deploy and provide a cushion between the car’s occupants and the interior. They help to lower the risk of injury and death in collisions when used in conjunction with seat belts.
When a collision occurs, sensors in the car’s crash detection system detect the impact and transmit a signal to the airbag control unit. The igniter is then set off by the airbag control unit, quickly filling the airbag with nitrogen gas.
The airbag deploys through a cover in the steering wheel or dashboard, creating a cushion that prevents the occupants from hitting the hard surfaces of the vehicle’s interior. Once the airbag has deployed, it deflates rapidly, allowing the occupants to exit the vehicle.
Importance of Airbags
In car accidents, airbags have been shown to significantly lower the risk of injury and death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that since 1987, frontal airbags alone have saved more than 50,000 lives.
In addition to reducing the risk of injury and death, airbags also provide a degree of psychological comfort to drivers and passengers. Knowing that they have an additional layer of protection in the event of a collision can help to reduce anxiety and make driving a more pleasant experience.
Airbags are not a substitute for seat belts, it is crucial to remember this. For the best protection during a crash, airbags are made to cooperate with seat belts. Even though the car has airbags, not wearing a seat belt might increase the chance of suffering injuries or even dying in a collision.
Airbags have become an essential safety feature in modern cars, and their importance cannot be overstated. They have been proven to be highly effective at reducing the risk of injury and death in car crashes and provide a degree of psychological comfort to drivers and passengers. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative safety features being introduced in cars. However, it is important to remember that airbags are not a substitute for seat belts and that wearing a seat belt is still the most effective way to reduce the risk of injury or death in a collision.