Automakers, at one time, balked at the idea of an airbag mandate, claiming they were too expensive and would do little to improve safety. Today, airbags come standard, and are even seen in seatbelts, center consoles, and backseats.
The entry-level Chevy Cruze, for example, now offers 10 standard airbags, including front, side, knee and head curtain, as well as outboard, rear-seat, side-impact bags. The automaker's 2012 Sonic also has 10 airbags, including dual-stage bags for the driver and front passenger, roof-rail-mounted head curtain bags, and seat-mounted side impact bags. It also includes knee bags for the driver and front passenger.
Click on the photo below to see a gallery of how other automakers are employing airbags in their vehicles:
Ford's inflatable seatbelts are designed to spread crash forces over five times more area of the body than conventional seatbelts. Used for rear-seat occupants, the inflatable belts help reduce pressure on the chest, and help control head and neck motion. (Source: Ford Motor Co.)
It's understandable that motorcycles can fit more easily into blind spots and that a careless driver of an automobile it extreemely dangerous for the motorcyclist.
Far too often my biggest problem with motorcycles is that they come out of nowhere. The driver of the bike is going 40MPH faster than traffic and weaving in and out of traffic lanes. This makes them especially difficult to keep track of. Especially when they come up behind you.
I've personally seen more solo motorcycle accidents than collisions with other vehicles.
One other thing is that safety does not sell. If it did, everbody would be driving Volvos, which we are not. My managers have explained that the only way to make money selling safety devices of any kind is to get laws passed forcing manufacturers to include them. Then it is simple to capture the market, if your device is adequately patented. At that point it is no longer anything about the safety, it is all about the money.
A lighter motorcycle should be able to steer out of a lot of problems, but there are enough drivers unablle or unwilling to pay enough attention to driving to notice a motorcycle. My suggestion would be for any driver who hits a motorcycle because they were not attentive to lose driving privaleges "for all eternity plus 90 days." There are quite enough good drivers that we can easily do without the poor ones.
Certainly, if you were belted to a bike you'd want some kind of crash bars that would keep the weight of the bike off your legs. It would help if were a crime to kill motorcyclists instead of just a traffic infraction. But a person has to deal with what is rather than what should be.
A good point is made that even with airbags a seatbelt is needed for safety. So how about a seatbelt interlock, so that unless the belt is worn neither the radio nor the air conditioning would work. That should improve the numbers wearing their belts, and who can argue about those items being denied? But seatbelts and airbags on motorcycles? How would you be able to lay the bike down and slide off when you need to exit to avoid hitting some vehicle that pulls across your path? And would it be better to fly over a car thatyou hit broadside when they pull out in front of you, or to fly over it and roll to a stop? The only motorcycle accident that I have been in was one in which we hit a pool of oil and the bike slid out from under us. As it tipped, I put my feet down and slid off the back, which was a lot better than staying and sliding along with a motorcycle on top of my leg.
MY point is that motorcycles and cars are different, and leaving a bike can be safer than tumbling with it.
And about the 17 year old losing control of the truck, one more reason that kids should not drive large vehicles.
I have wondered for many years why some highway designers believed that a ten foot wide strip pf mowed grass would stop a vehicle going 70+ miles per hour. Now at last we are getting some decent barriers installed. But what were they thinking back then?
Sorry, my comment was not a reply to anyone else, I started a new subject for that reason. I was not saying that anyone had taken a position that was either pro or con airbag, nor arguing with anyone else's position, just simply stating my position. Sorry if my comments were misread. Everyone probably has a different view on this topic, and no one view is wrong or right. As I noted, in my experience I have seen airbags & seatbelts save many lives, hence my view on this topic.
I'm not sure William K. and I are necessarily "anti-airbag", but rather against being REQUIRED to have them and pay for them.I have no problem with them as an option if you want them, but am opposed to the government requiring me to pay for and have live airbags in front of me and my family as I drive and also to wear seatbelts.
I have several relatives and friends whose lives were saved by NOT wearing their seatbelts, and some who were injured or killed BY their seatbelts, but have never personally known anyone saved by their seatbelt.My wife has an injury that she will live with for the rest of her life caused BY her seatbelt and she would have been just fine without one in that accident.By the way, when the police report on an accident, they will NEVER admit when someone was killed or injured by their seatbelt in their report, so no statistics will ever reflect this aspect.
Sorry for going beyond the original scope of this article, but I am for the freedom to choose whether or not to use seatbelts and airbags.
A recently released government report has raised the hopes of automakers looking for a break on future fuel economy regulations, despite the warnings of an Environmental Protection Agency official who said the agency is unlikely to back down on its goal of 54.5 mpg by 2025.
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