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External airbags lessen occupant injury by 40 percent

External airbags are an emerging vehicle safety feature that South Carolina residents should know about. While they are far from being implemented on vehicles, the advantages they offer may prompt more car parts manufacturers to create a strategy for developing them. ZF, which has developed its own model of external airbags, says that the feature can reduce the severity of occupants' injuries by as much as 40 percent.

ZF's model goes on the sides of a vehicle to protect occupants against side-impact crashes. Acting as an additional crumple zone, the airbags can help absorb the force of the crash. A predictive system will use sensors and cameras to recognize the vital details of an impending crash and deploy the airbags a split second before the event.

There are concerns that the airbags will not deploy and that they might even deploy at unnecessary times. However, ZF points to advances in lidar, radar, ultrasonics and camera technology as providing answers to these challenges.

ZF's external airbag is 80 inches long, 21 inches high and 15 inches wide although these figures will vary with the vehicle's size. It weighs about 13 pounds. At the same time, it boasts an inflation time of 15 milliseconds, which puts it on the same level as a steering wheel airbag.

Before these airbags are perfected, though, drivers still have to contend with side collisions and other serious car accidents. Individuals may even be left with disabilities that compromise their ability to work. Those who were the victims of negligent driving may want to consult with an attorney about filing a personal injury claim.

A lawyer may successfully negotiate a settlement with the other's auto insurance company, reimbursing the victim for medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage and more. Before that, the lawyer could have investigators and medical experts strengthen the case.

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