The airbag is a safety device that can be held accountable for saving thousands of lives. Since it was announced for commercial use in automobiles in the 1970s, safety experts have continually worked on improving the design and functionality of the bags. Now they come standard in nearly every single car on the road. The following airbags go beyond the standard design and are used in clever ways, to save lives.

Think Outside of the Car

When most people think about airbags they imagine them inflating within the interior of a vehicle after a collision. In recent years, vehicle manufacturers have experimented with locations other than just the dashboard for airbag placement. No company however, has the clever approach that Volvo is using with their new pedestrian airbag.

Volvo is a car company that is well known for their emphasis on safety and reliability. The Swedish car company is now announcing their latest innovation in airbag technology that places an airbag on the outside of the car for optimal protection. If a car hits somebody going more than 12 MPH, airbags lined along the base of the windshield inflate to protect the person from the outside. This decreases the chance of head injury to the victim, which is a common injury associated with getting hit by a vehicle.

Think Outside of Cars in General

But who is to say that airbags have to be exclusive to just vehicles? People using other forms of transportation like bicycles are much more vulnerable to damage since they aren’t enclosed in a steel box. The Hövding safety company in Germany is on the look out for cyclist safety with their new type of cycle helmet.

The helmet is basically like an airbag that is compacted into a small collar that fits around your neck. Advance sensors detect the algorithms associated with motion in bicycle crash scenarios. When the collar senses that you are in danger, it inflates around your head with an incredibly strong nylon fabric. This helmet provides you with even more protective area than a standard helmet and allows you to ride around without an awkward chunk of plastic sitting on your scalp.

On a More Extreme Level

There are plenty of extreme sports enthusiasts that put their life on the line every day for the entertainment of others. When you slip up during one of these sports however, proper safety measures could mean the difference between life and death. The ABS Avalanche Airbag system provides those who like shredding down slopes of avalanche prone snow a safety measure to fall back on.

The Avalanche Airbags are fitted snug on to the side of a backpack for a skier or snowboarder to wear. Their convenient design makes it easy for the user to navigate and still have a full range of motion. When they feel they are in danger of an avalanche, all they have to do is pull the chord and the two big bags are activated. Nice!

What do you think about these cool airbag designs? Could you imagine an innovative way to use airbag technology? Let us know with a comment below!

Image Credits: abdulsatarid/