Airbags deployed on Mars over 20 years ago. The same technology that helped NASA’s Pathfinder bounce its way to safety on Mars in ‘97 is also in your car. Here’s a select bit of info airbags.
Pathfinder was going about 30 mph when it hit Mars, but your car’s airbags will deploy with impacts as low as 10 mph depending on the situation.
Companies have been adding airbags to cars in earnest for about 20 years. In ’99 the Federal government began requiring them; airbags have been found to reduce fatalities across the board, and so the quest continues to find the best spots for that hot air.
In about 2014, most passenger vehicles began including some kinds of side airbags, which can burst from the seat, the roof rail, or the door.
More recently, Ford and Mercedes have begun using inflatable seat belts. GM and Toyota have developed airbags that deploy in the middle of the car to prevent passengers from colliding with each other. And Volvo has developed an external airbag that goes up the windshield for pedestrian impacts. There are even vest and bicycle helmet airbags under development.
No doubt, a bit of well-placed hot air can be helpful. But the force of an airbag itself can injure.
Remember, airbags are designed to be used with your seatbelts. Keep your chest 10 inches or more from your steering wheel, and make sure your leopard print seat-covers don’t block your seat airbags.