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ZF external airbags could reduce the risks of side collisions

Drivers in Missouri may be familiar with the predictive systems that come with certain vehicles. They sense an impending crash and can, for example, tighten the seatbelts or adjust the suspension to protect the occupants. However, there is an emerging technology that provides a more drastic, but also much safer, solution, and it's the external airbag.

The ZF group has data showing that external airbags can reduce occupants' injuries by up to 40 percent in the case of a side-impact crash. The external airbags, linked to cameras and sensors, deploy a split second before the crash, acting as an added crumple zone and absorbing some of the shock.

There are concerns as to whether camera and sensor technology is advanced enough to react so quickly. Another potential issue is having the external airbags deploy when there is no danger of a crash. ZF states that advances in camera technology are rapid and can overcome these challenges. As with self-driving cars, though, it's clear that external airbags will take a while to be perfected.

ZF has developed external airbags that weigh approximately 13 pounds and can inflate in 15 milliseconds. The inflation time is comparable to that of steering wheel airbags. Dimensions vary with the vehicle, but they are approximately 80 inches long, 21 inches high and 15 inches wide.

This is an important development because car accident injuries are often severe with victims developing long-term disabilities requiring constant medical care. However, a lawyer could help a crash victim obtain compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity and other applicable damages.

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