Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2011 Ford Explorer Offers Industry-First Inflatable Seat Belt

The new 2011 Ford Explorer will have optional inflatable second-row seat belts that are triggered with airbags in the event of a crash but only if the seatbelt is buckled up. A cold gas is channeled from a canister below the rear seat through the belt into the airbag (seen deployed above). As a opposed to an airbag which inflates at you, the seatbelt device inflates away from you.

Ford says rear seat passengers, often children or mature passengers, can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries.The Ford inflatable belts spread impact forces across five times more area than conventional seat belts. This reduces pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion. Belt comfort also should help increase usage rates. Studies show inflatable belts to be more comfortable for passengers due to the padding.

It's an industry-first from Ford.