US automakers are striving harder than ever to introduce innovative safety technologies in cars to minimize road accidents and injuries. Inflatable seatbelt systems are one such innovation that is creating quite a buzz. Every car in the country is mandated to have seat belts — so what makes an inflatable seatbelt system so unique?
The inflatable seatbelt system is designed to provide safety for rear seat passengers. Though it looks like a conventional seatbelt, it works quite differently. The system combines a seatbelt with an airbag and, as the name implies – in a crash, it inflates, helping to protect the passenger.
For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the potential risk of injuries and death by approximately 50%.
The inflatable mechanism is deployed in the blink of an eye in the event of a crash. The tubular airbag unzips and inflates immediately from the seatbelt across the chest of the passenger.
Unlike a conventional front seat airbag, which deflates instantly, the airbag deployed in this inflatable seatbelt system remains inflated for 6 seconds. As a result, the inflated belt offers the passenger increased safety benefits during longer crash events like rollovers.
Its superior functionality shows that it has the potential to lower passenger injuries and make travel safer than before, especially for those sitting in the back seat- usually children and the elderly.
Inflatable seatbelt offers two advantages. First, it spreads the crash force energy over a wide area of the body. The force is distributed across 5 times more of the occupant’s body as compared to the traditional belt, thereby potentially lowering chest injury risks.
Second, the deployment of the airbag tightens the seatbelt and reduces forward movement of the passenger, which lowers the risk of head injury during a crash.