The ZF Group has found that external airbags can reduce the severity of occupants’ injuries in a side collision by up to 40 percent. The car parts manufacturer has also developed a strategy for the development of this new safety technology. Residents of Oklahoma should know that external airbags are far from being perfected, much less implemented. ZF’s data could, however, prompt other manufacturers to look into the safety tech.

External airbags are meant to inflate a split second before a side impact crash. Acting as an additional crumple zone, they can absorb some of the shock the way a pillow might.

ZF states that advances in lidar, radar, ultrasonics and camera technology will give sensors enough sensitivity to detect a crash while at the same time preventing them from deploying the airbags at unneeded times. These are important challenges because the airbags present a more drastic solution than other predictive systems that protect occupants by tightening the seat belts or adjusting the suspension.

ZF’s current external airbag model weighs about 13 pounds. It is a little under 80 inches long, and it is 21 inches high and 15 inches wide. Dimensions, though, will vary depending on vehicle size. Despite these figures, the airbag boasts an inflation time of 15 milliseconds, which is similar to that of steering wheel airbags.

Some safety tech protects drivers in a crash while other features try to prevent one. Needless to say, technology is not supposed to replace drivers. When drivers become negligent behind the wheel and cause car accidents, they will be at fault, and their auto insurance companies may face personal injury claims. Victims who believe they have the grounds for a claim can ask a lawyer for an assessment. Personal injury attorneys can handle negotiations as well as litigation if it comes to that.