Beginning October 27, many planes could be quite a bit safer in the event of a crash. New government regulations are forcing all planes to have sturdier "16G" seats that will stay bolted to the floor in the event of an impact 16-times the force of gravity. The seats have been present in all planes designed and produced after 1988, but older planes with 9G seats will be replaced. The 9G seats could rip apart from the floor even in crashes where the plane skid off the runway; killing or severely injuring some passengers secured with the 16G seats. The seat sturdiness will remain at 16G, as scientists say stronger forces are not survivable.

Another technological improvement in airline safety is the introduction of airbags. The airbag tech is lifted directly from automobiles, and they're designed to go off only in the event of an impact, however, turbulence won't trigger the devices. The airbags are built into the lap belt and the employment will be in first class where the distance between seats is greater than in coach. In coach, airbags will be used in front rows, exit rows and bulkhead seats.

[Source: Engadget, New York Times]


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