February 5, 2013
A company in the Netherlands has come up with an exterior airbag design that absorbs impact when a bicyclist hits the car and lands on the windshield of the car, thus helping prevent serious injuries to the bicyclist.
It’s no surprise to California bicycle accident lawyers that this innovation comes from the Netherlands, which has always been at the forefront of innovative new bicycle safety strategies. The Netherlands has a heavy bicycling population, and an estimated 1.2 bicycle for every resident of the country. The country has a strong bicycle safety culture, and boasts a vast awareness of bicyclist rights.
A Dutch car company has now launched what it calls external airbags for more automobiles. The airbag system detects when the automobile is about to collide with the bicyclist, and launches the airbags. The airbags inflate on the outside of the automobile, protecting the bicyclist from potentially serious or fatal injury.
The airbags are located under the hood of the car, and inflate when there is a potential collision scenario. The airbags are not the solution to every bicyclist’s nightmare, but bicyclists are likely to wish that every automobile came with these inflatable airbags.
The airbags are not likely to prevent the kind of injuries that occur when a car door is opened right in the path of a bicyclist. Such accidents, involving bicyclists running into open car doors, injure thousands of bicyclists in the United States every month. The airbags would not prevent such accidents.
It’s easy to believe that a feature like this would find many takers in the Netherlands, where motorists are highly respectful of bicyclist rights. However, how popular a feature like this will become in the United States, where bicycle safety awareness isn’t as strong, is anyone’s guess.