Researchers at Cranfield University in England have developed an external airbag they say will significantly reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in the event of a crash.We do have evidence that drivers pay less heed of cyclists wearing more protective equipment; in this case, it's the car that's wearing the equipment.
The system deploys a hood - or bonnet, as the British call it - airbag at the base of the windshield, which research shows is where a pedestrian’s head is most likely to hit. The system uses radar and infrared technology to “pre-detect” a collision and inflates quickly enough to cushion the impact, said Roger Hardy of the university’s Cranfield Impact Centre.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
And the offsetting effect will be...
Drivers will pay less heed to pedestrians, with an end-result of a small increase in the number of pedestrian-car collisions, but with a lower death rate per collision. Effect on pedestrian deaths overall then is ambiguous. That's my prediction for cars equipped with this new safety feature.