ZF has developed external airbags that could reduce the number of injuries from car accidents for car occupants in Pennsylvania and across the world. The new external airbags have been found to reduce injury severity by the vehicle’s occupants up to 40 percent. Developers hope that installing the devices in new vehicles can reduce injuries and fatalities from car accidents.

The German-based manufacturer has developed the airbags to deploy from the sides of the vehicle when an impact is about to occur. They act as an additional cushion in the crumple zone and help to protect the occupants in the vehicle. When deployed, the airbags have the appearance of large, rectangular pillows on the side of the car and are designed to absorb some of the force in an accident.

The airbags rely on a system that predicts when a crash is about to occur. Previous attempts at developing airbags weren’t successful and deployed too late or when a crash didn’t occur. The company used recent advances in ultrasonics, radar, lidar and camera technology to develop sensors that will be able to predict when another vehicle is going to crash into the car in order to deploy the airbags. The airbag that has been developed by ZF is approximately 80 inches long, 15 inches wide and 21 inches high, and it weighs 13 pounds. It takes approximately 15 milliseconds to inflate and deploy, similar to airbags inside of the car.

Injuries that occur during car accidents may result in hospital stays, medical bills and financial hardship due to loss of wages from work. Those who are injured in a vehicular crash may be able to receive monetary damages from the responsible party. A lawyer may be able to prove that the other driver acted negligently when operating the vehicle and help the client receive compensatory damages.