Airbags are increasingly becoming an important aspect when determining vehicle safety. Over the years, air bags have proven to reduce driver fatalities and are evolving to maximize driver protection. Air bag innovation can already be seen in some makes and models and will eventually catch up to almost all make of vehicles.
More automakers are starting to integrate knee airbags into their vehicles in order to minimize lower limb injuries by reducing direct contact to the dashboard. These airbags are situated under the steering column in the footwell as well as under the glove box for passenger protection.
General Motors rolled out with its front center air bag recently, introducing it in a few of its 2013 models. This air bag provides restraint during passenger sides crashes if the driver is alone and prevents forceful contact between the driver and passenger (if present). This airbag deploys from the right side of the driver seat and is positioned near the center of the vehicle between the front row seats.
Ford introduced inflatable seat belts in one of its 2011 models to help reduce the occurrence of injuries in rear-seat passengers, which are typically children and the elderly. Volvo even created a pedestrian airbag that deploys outside the vehicle in the event that there is a collision between a car and pedestrian.
As more research is done, the effectiveness of airbags will only improve—and hopefully save more lives.