In Soviet Holland, Airbag Cushions Pedestrians

in soviet holland airbag cushions pedestrians

Motor Authority reports that the Dutch Cycling Federation (their equivalent of AAA) is calling on the Dutch government and the auto industry to make externally-inflating airbags standard issue on all cars. The external airbags would inflate upon impact with a cyclist or pedestrian, absorbing the impact and potentially saving lives. Swedish supplier Autoliv has developed such an airbag already, and Jaguar and Nissan have tested pop-up hoods which deflect pedestrian impacts in a similar manner. Of course, these technologies are too expensive to be included as an available feature on any vehicle, but that isn't stopping the Dutch Cyclists Federation. The spandex crowd claims that by making these technologies standard issue, some 60 lives could be saved each year and some 1,500 injuries prevented in Holland alone. If required by law, the expense would also probably cause most automakers to exit the Dutch market (score one for the cyclists) but at least it might make for some cool "Jackass" stunts. Critics say that cyclists are responsible for their own safety, and that several companies are currently developing an airbag-equipped vest for cyclists. Not that making people pay for their own safety makes any sense…

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  • Rtx Rtx on Apr 23, 2008

    This idea has great possibilities. If I could run that front airbag into the jackass in front of me who has decided that EVERYONE should drive his/her speed it would make my day. Just the thought of ramming an absent minded driver, exploding a giant airbag and putting him into a sideways skid at 50mph puts a smile on my face. I want my front airbag to retract and recharge in case I need to educate the same driver twice.

  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Apr 24, 2008

    Do you wanna pay for a hood airbag on your car? I don't. Maybe we should set the max speed limit to 15mph on all roads. This would probably save thousands of lives a year. Far more lives saved than hood airbags....

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Apr 24, 2008

    Edward: thanks for explaining the Soviet Holland expression; I honestly didn't know the reference and was irritated by what I perceived to be a Rushism. So, I should apologize for my annoyed tone. hoofdpijn, cjdumm: a car's hood can be constructed to be relatively energy-absorbing. The problem is the engine underneath, which is hard and therefore causes major injuries to the head. Typically, a pedestrian or bicycle collision takes place in two stages: first there is an impact at the forward edge of the hood, around the radiator grille. A few split-seconds later, the victim's head hits the hood. The pop-up hood is released a split-second after the first impact in order to mitigate the second. This is a tried and tested and effective technology. Laws and regulations in the EU and in Japan are speeding up its introduction, based on the realization that the technology is cost-effective. David Holzman, hansbos: Indeed, bicycle helmets save lives in theory but do not (statistically) reduce deaths in real life. Why is this so? A British study found that car drivers tend to keep less distance from bicyclists wearing helmets, but were more careful when approaching those without helmets. This is one of the reasons why no European country has yet mandated the use of helmets for bicyclists.

  • JJ JJ on Apr 24, 2008
    The “Soviet Holland” thing is just a Yakov Smirnoff reference… “soviet” is probably one of the last words I’d use to seriously describe the dutch government. Well, I live in the Netherlands, and it's certainly not one of the last words I'd use to the decribe the government... Look at these lovely progressive income taxes (schijf means something like bracket, percentage is the percentage of Income Tax you have to pay) Schijf 1: below EUR 17.319 --> 33,65% Schijf 2: 17.320 t/m 31.112--> 41,40% Schijf 3: 31.113 t/m 53.064--> 42,00% Schijf 4: beyond 53.065 --> 52,00% (yes, really) Then, there are the benefits that you get if you make less money and you don't get when you make a decent amount of money, like health care compensation and compensations for education for children and things like that, you know that you expect would be accounted for in the first place by the taxes... Then you have 45,2% special tax on car sales. So when you buy a car, you pay the price the manufacturer asks + 45,2% +19%(VAT, but no VAT on the special tax). Obviously this hits people harder that buy a nice car...which again means communism. Really, bottom line is whether on paper you make 60000 or 30000 really doesn't matter that much down the line, which is somewhat Soviet...much like the healthcare system. The problem of distributing wealth of course is that there is always someone on the worse end of the deal, and you transfer problems to those who deserve it the least, because in a normal situation they could buy themselves out of it (private healthcare for instance) yet now they have to share costs for others and can't pay the high costs for themselves anymore. Also; but if you do, fascism is only 70 miles away. The UK, by its own choice, is anything but a good example of what things are like in the rest of Europe. The Netherlands is by no means a fascist country, the problem is there is so much freedom of speech that some nutcase in the parliament can say what ever he wants about foreign immigrants without having to account for it because one cannot be prosecuted for quotes in parliament to ensure freedom of speech, which in itself is no bad thing. The hoodairbag is just another example in a long line of incidents that prove that those people in The Hague have never driven a car themselves, because they frown upon cars, however, they're not going to enforce the rules without the rest of the EU, but they are going to try and convince the other countries this is a good thing. Hopefully, someone will have the sense to kill the idea quickly. surely you know that the Netherlands has a better record of protecting privacy rights than the U.S. does? Yes, well, our own government doesn't tap our communication, but the US does and has done for a long time, and our government knows about that, so... Lastly...wearing a helmet on a bike? Are you kidding, you know how stupid that would look to all my friends/colleagues/innocent bystanders. The shame would kill me. Nobody wears cycling gear either by the way, just regular clothes.