Inflatable Seat Belt


(YouTube Link)


Ford is developing a seat belt that inflates when the car detects a crash. In The Wall Street Journal, Matthew Dolan writes:

Its inflatable rear seat belts spread crash forces over five times more area of the body than conventional seat belts, said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of sustainability, environmental and safety engineering

Each belt's tubular air bag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat. The inflatable belt's accordion-folded bag breaks through the belt fabric as it fills with gas, expanding sideways across the occupant's body. It looks something like a water wing children wear in the pool before they know how to swim.


Link via Popular Science

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@skipweasel, you must be a tallish male. Shorter drivers tend to find shoulder belts scraping their necks, and women (especially if they're in a point in their cycle where breasts are very tender) tend to find the seat belt seems to be attempting a mastectomy.

Easy solution, though: plastic clips that allow adjusting the shoulder belt to a comfortable angle. Inexpensive, and at least some auto supply places routinely stock them.
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i like the comments: indeed more expensive, more weight and more stuf that breaks, and cant be fixed with aftermarket stuff. So ure stuck with dealer prices.
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ECA - do you find seatbelts uncomfortable? Apart from occasionally with small children or really skeletal adults I've not met more than a handful of people who really find them uncomfortable.

As a driver for the last thirty years, and claim-free for the last 20 (350,000 miles or so) I reckon driving style has a lot more to do with staying safe than any number of safety features.
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I prefer Red Green's seatbelt approach, wherein the shoulder belt looks like an ammunition bandoleer and is therefore awesome to wear (Episode #1216, "Rain Man").
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