Ford Inflatable Seatbelt Systems Promise to Reduce Risk of Injuries
As Georgia car accident lawyers, we are constantly monitoring new auto safety technologies that promise to keep drivers and passengers safe in an accident. Ford Motor Company has now announced the development of new inflatable seatbelt systems that we believe could be the next big thing in auto safety.
According to Ford, it will equip new Ford Explorers that are due to go into production next year, with the inflatable seatbelts in the rear seats. During a crash, the belt inflates and fills up with cold compressed gas. The gas is released after several seconds through tiny pores in the belt.
Ford’s new seatbelts offer the protection of both seatbelts and airbags, and promise to prevent injuries and fatalities in both front and side impact crashes.
Passengers in the rear seat tend to have a false sense of security that they will escape injuries in the event of an accident. For this reason, seatbelt usage among back seat passengers is very low with rates hovering around 62 percent, compared to about 80 percent for front seat occupants. According to Ford, studies have shown that the inflatable seatbelts are much more comfortable than traditional seatbelts, and this could encourage use of these seatbelts among backseat passengers.
Auto safety experts and Atlanta personal injury attorneys have welcomed Ford’s announcement. The automaker has had more than its share of safety scandals, including the Explorer rollover cases in the 1990s that ended in several people dead and hundreds more injured. With this new development, the automaker could salvage its reputation.
Over the past few years, Americans have shown a marked preference for cars with advanced safety technologies. While many of these new features like Electronic Stability Control Systems are not available in all vehicles, the NHTSA is slowly encouraging manufacturers to make many of these features standard across all models. If the new inflatable seatbelts turn out to be as popular with customers as we hope, these could soon become a standard feature in all Ford vehicles in the future.