Exterior airbag could be the next big thing in auto safety.
Having already filled the interiors of our cars with airbags, automakers are thinking outside of the box more so than ever to make driver and passengers even safer. German car parts maker ZF gas come up with an external airbag system that greatly mitigates the severity of side impact crashes.
Mounted in the sill of the vehicle and runs from the A to C pillar, ZF’s external side airbag uses cameras, lidar and radar to detect a side impact and inflates within 150 milliseconds before the actual impact. Traditional airbag, on the other hand, inflate after an impact is detected.
ZF says its external airbag system can reduce the severity of a side impact collision by up to 40 percent.
“We highlighted that this safety system has the potential to significantly reduce occupant injury severity in cases of side impact collisions,” states Uwe Class, Head of the Safe Mobility Systems department, within ZF’s Advanced Engineering team.
The external airbag system is still in the prototype phase, but don’t be surprised to see it in cars of the future.
5 Things To Know Before Your First Car Accident
Being preparing beforehand can reduce the stress and cost of dealing with a car accident.
It’s unfortunate, but if you’re a regular driver, you’ll probably end up in at least one car accident at some point in your life. If you’re lucky, it will only be a minor fender-bender.
Other motorists won’t be so lucky, and will have to deal with injuries and severe damage to their cars. But regardless of the severity of the accident however, there are a few things to know before getting in your first car accident so that you can best handle the situation whenever it arrives.
1. It’s Important to Stay Calm After the Accident
First, after getting into a car accident, you most certainly will be a little shaken up. This is natural, but it’s important to get yourself under control before trying to do anything else.
Trying to handle everything while you’re stressed or anxious will only make the situation worse, and you’re likely to forget something important.
There are a few things you can do to , but the best is probably taking a few deep breaths. Try breathing in through your nose for a few seconds, then out through your mouth. Do this a few times until you can feel some of the stress wearing away.
Another thing you might want to do is call someone close to you. A spouse or parent can help calm you down and talk you through the rest of the things that you need to do.
2. Check on Health Before Car Damage
Your biggest priority during and after a car accident is the safety of yourself and anyone else involved. As soon as you’re able, you’ll want to check in on yourself and look for signs of any injuries. After doing that, check in on any passengers you had in your car.
Once ensuring that everyone in your vehicle is okay, you can proceed to checking the passengers in any other cars involved.
Don’t worry about your car or anything else at this point — just make sure everyone is okay. If they aren’t, you’ll want to call for some immediate medical assistance.
3. Get Plenty of Information From the Other Drivers
If other drivers were involved with the crash, you’ll need to swap some information with them. Getting information from the other drivers is important, as it will allow you to file your insurance claim so that you don’t end up paying out of pocket.
After a car accident, it’s standard procedure to get their name, phone number, license plat number, and insurance information. You should also be prepared to provide the same information about yourself.
If the other driver doesn’t want to provide you with certain information, get as much as you can to identify them, then let the police handle the rest. Make sure to note down the license plate number and the make/model of the car, at the very least.
4. You Might Need Some Assistance
Next, it’s important to know that you might not be able to get through the entire accident process without some help. You may need to call a tow truck for your car, an ambulance if there are any injuries, a physical therapist to help you on your road to recovery or a if there are any legal issues.
Make your life easier, and look up some of these numbers beforehand and keep them with you wherever you go. You’ll feel more confident handling the accident if you have the number of your insurance provider and a good tow service in your glove compartment.
5. You Can Learn from Your Mistakes
Finally, everyone makes mistakes. There may come a day when you do something stupid and cause a car accident. Hopefully, if this happens, the accident isn’t too serious, and no one gets hurt.
But regardless, the important thing to remember is that you can learn from your mistakes. After the accident, take some time to go over the events and think about if there was anything you could have done differently.
The biggest mistake you can make during a car accident is not a better driver and repeating the mistake again somewhere down the line.
The More You Prepare, the Better Off You’ll Be
With the above information, you should find that any car accident you get into is a little easier to manage. They are never fun experiences, but they don’t have to be extra stressful.
Take some time to practice calming techniques and to learn important phone numbers. Doing these things won’t prevent you from getting into a car accident, but they can at least make the aftermath a little easier to handle.
GM’s ‘Buckle To Drive’ Lock System Forces Driver To Wear Seatbelt
The system prevents the vehicle from shifting into gear if the driver seatbelt is not secured.
General Motors has added a new ‘Buckle to Drive’ feature to its growing range of teen-driver safety technologies.
Called Buckle to Drive, the industry-first system is so simple that we’re surprised it tool so long for it to become mainstream. As a more strict and more effective seatbelt enforcement method than an annoying chime and reminder lights, it does not allow the driver to shift out of park for 20 seconds if his or her seatbelt isn’t secured.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and teens have the lowest rates of seat belt use compared with other age groups.
When GM ‘s researchers piloted the new feature on a select number of fleet vehicles, seat belt usage among adults increased 16 percent over the regular audible chime.
The technology will launch in the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse before rolling to other new GM vehicles. It must be activated via vehicle’s Teen Driver mode.
Tesla Vehicles Get A Sentry, Plus Dog-Safe Mode
Potential thieves will have to deal with a classical German composer.
Tesla has introduced a new ‘Sentry Mode’ security feature and a dog-friendly mode that should make its vehicles even more interesting than they already are.
Sentry Mode keep an eye on the car by using the vehicles’ 360-degree cameras to record any potentially mischievous individuals in the vicinity. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the car will automatically play Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor if there is any disturbance.
Engineers also built upon the Cabin Overheat Protection system, which keeps the interior at a safe temperature for hours when the car is off.
As for doggie, the Model 3, Model S and Model X now have a dedicated “dog mode” that plays music and keeps the air conditioner activated when your canine friend is in the vehicle alone. It also displays a message that reads reads “I’m fine my owner will be right back” on the touchscreen, a provision likely intend to help avoid insurance claims if a concerned citizen or police officer mistakenly feels the need to break into the vehicle to rescue an animal.
All of the features were implemented via over-the-air software updates, so no need to buy a new Tesla to have them.