A new kind of seat belt
  • Image Credit: Ford

A new kind of seat belt

Air bags have made their way to nearly every part of the automobile, from front air bags in the steering wheel and dashboard to side curtain airbags that drop down from the ceiling and from the side pillars.

But now Ford has taken it a step further: they've put air bags inside a seat belt.
The Inflatable Seat Belt
  • Image Credit: Ford

The Inflatable Seat Belt

Ford's new seat belt contains a long air bag inside of it (it's hidden inside the belt until a crash is detected), designed to provide additional protection for rear-seat occupants, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries.
More Effective Than Normal Seat Belts
  • Image Credit: Ford

More Effective Than Normal Seat Belts

The company says that the new belts spread crash forces over five times more area of the body than conventional seat belts; this helps reduce pressure on the chest and helps control head and neck motion for rear seat passengers.
Wider Belts Are Comfortable
  • Image Credit: Ford

Wider Belts Are Comfortable

Apparently they're comfortable, too. More than 90 percent of Ford research participants indicated that the inflatable seat belts are similar to or more comfortable than traditional belts, which could help increase the lower rate of rear belt usage.
Coming In The Next Ford Explorer
  • Image Credit: Ford

Coming In The Next Ford Explorer

The first application of the inflatable rear seat belts will be as optional equipment in the 2011 Ford Explorer, debuting in 2010.


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