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  1. #1
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Airbags outside the car

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...tional/Europe/



    DOUBLE TAKE: CYCLING SAFETY
    Cyclists want a brand new bag
    Dutch group advocates external airbags to reduce traffic injuries

    SARAH LILLEYMAN

    With a report from Reuters

    April 24, 2008

    Airbags in cars have been proven to decrease traffic deaths for passengers and drivers in recent years, and now cyclists want to benefit from the technology.

    The Dutch Cycling Federation said a study showed that 60 lives could be saved each year if airbags were installed on the hoods of cars, where cyclists are typically hit in accidents. External airbags could also cut 1,500 serious injuries a year.

    "In the past many measures have been taken to protect those sitting inside cars but hardly anything has been done to protect people outside cars," it said in a statement.

    "The federation calls on politicians and the car industry to take measures that could limit the chance of serious injury."

    The organization said 216 cyclists died in the Netherlands in 2006, 106 of whom were in vehicle collisions.

    In densely populated countries such as the Netherlands, where bicycles outnumber people, cycling and walking are preferred modes of transportation. Sweden's Autoliv Inc., the world's biggest airbag and seatbelt maker, took that into consideration when it developed an external bag that inflates from the bottom of a car's windshield.

    "Here in Europe, roughly 15 per cent of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians," Mats Ödman, vice-president of corporate communications for AutoLiv, told Double Take in a telephone interview from his Stockholm office. "What happens is most of them hit their head on the hood ... and it's the hard part that you hit. We started by addressing that problem, using U-shaped airbag technology to lift the end of the hood to make it flex instead."

    Car manufacturers have so far shown little interest in the product, Mr. Ödman said. "People are eager to pay for their own safety, but not eager to pay for somebody else's. There have to be laws to make sure these types of products are used."

    But there is increasing awareness of the need for pedestrian protection to decrease traffic fatalities globally, Mr. Ödman added. Discussions are taking place in the European Parliament to decide how to improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

    "It's a more pronounced problem in the U.K. and Europe, less so in North America because roads are designed in a different way - people don't walk as much," he said. "But if there's a standard that [Europe] adopts, North America should likely follow."

  2. #2
    ahhhh shatdow's Avatar
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    I think it's a mostly useless idea with good intentions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^
    I'd have to agree. It would be very difficult to enforce a law requiring this and neither the car manufacturers or the customers of such car could give a hoot.

    I systemic way of perhaps achieving the same results is to keep high speed motoring confined to corridors (freeways) and decrease the speed of surface streets to a speed safe for pedestrians. Remote speed regulators anyone? Off the freeway, hit a stoplight to make speed go to zero, then regulate it to below 30mph. Eh... kinda pie in the sky, but if we were serious about reducing deaths of pedestrians and cyclists from errant motorists, then speed is the main thing to tackle. Not just the force of the impact, but the reaction time of the motorist and cyclist/pedestrian too.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  4. #4
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I've found when I've been hit by a car, it's not hit that was the problem, it was the landing that hurt. Maybe airbags should be installed on the ground

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Dubito... too many variables to consider when designing an external airbag. A Better way to cut bicyclist-vehicle collisions is to govern all vehicles down to 25kph.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    I've found when I've been hit by a car, it's not hit that was the problem, it was the landing that hurt. Maybe airbags should be installed on the ground
    or... a body suit airbag. Now we're talking (crazy).

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Maybe we should wear "fat suits" and motorcycle helmets.

  8. #8
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Maybe we should wear "fat suits" and motorcycle helmets.
    I thought most people already did...

    http://www.statcan.ca/english/resear...s/aobesity.htm

    Majority overweight or obese...


  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
    Dubito... too many variables to consider when designing an external airbag. A Better way to cut bicyclist-vehicle collisions is to govern all vehicles down to 25kph.
    Including bicycles?

  10. #10
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    An external airbag might be more dangerous than the car itself. An airbag inflates in a collision thanks to explosives embedded behind it, thus inflating in a split-second. They are potentially dangerous to the driver/passenger, but less so than hitting one's noggin on the dash or windshield. This is why infants and toddlers are, in many places, required to be in a child seat in the backseat; an airbag could seriously injure their little selves. An external airbag? It would probably toss my body in a way that would break my head or spine. I'll take my chances with metal and try to remember how to roll.
    Even a bad bike ride is still better than a good subway ride any day.

  11. #11
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklyncyclist View Post
    I'll take my chances with metal .
    Perhaps instead the cars should be covered in bicycle helmets.

    Al

  12. #12
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    I remember reading in a Pop-sci a while ago about a motorcycle vest that is an air bag. I don't know the details of how it works, but basically, when the motorcyclist crashes, the vest inflates and the rider is enclosed in this huge ball....something lighter may work for cyclists.....just sayin...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sledbikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    ^^^
    I'd have to agree. It would be very difficult to enforce a law requiring this and neither the car manufacturers or the customers of such car could give a hoot.

    I systemic way of perhaps achieving the same results is to keep high speed motoring confined to corridors (freeways) and decrease the speed of surface streets to a speed safe for pedestrians. Remote speed regulators anyone? Off the freeway, hit a stoplight to make speed go to zero, then regulate it to below 30mph. Eh... kinda pie in the sky, but if we were serious about reducing deaths of pedestrians and cyclists from errant motorists, then speed is the main thing to tackle. Not just the force of the impact, but the reaction time of the motorist and cyclist/pedestrian too.
    were not in china you want that move there
    riding and pimpin again

  14. #14
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    The whole idea sounds more like dent protection for motorists.

    -Kurt

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    The whole idea sounds more like dent protection for motorists.

    -Kurt
    Very pricey protection. I also see a great opportunity for 'games' involving setting them off against the wishes of the vehicle owner.

    Al

  16. #16
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I reckon if I hit the hood of a car I'd most likely survive, until the airbag inflated and bounced me onto the ground and possibly under the wheels.

    I say make car bonnets out of matresses. Better yet, build cars the same way velomobiles are built - cloth over a light frame. That way I go through it and hit the driver directly. If I'm gonna go down I want to take the idiot responsible for it down with me.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sledbikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    I reckon if I hit the hood of a car I'd most likely survive, until the airbag inflated and bounced me onto the ground and possibly under the wheels.

    I say make car bonnets out of matresses. Better yet, build cars the same way velomobiles are built - cloth over a light frame. That way I go through it and hit the driver directly. If I'm gonna go down I want to take the idiot responsible for it down with me.
    and if youre the idiot then what?

    they're not gonna do it it adds weight,reduces mpg and price. mega luxury vehicles might come with them first but very doubtfull. honda has a system like that now with their 08s its better collision design
    riding and pimpin again

  18. #18
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker View Post
    I've found when I've been hit by a car, it's not hit that was the problem, it was the landing that hurt. Maybe airbags should be installed on the ground
    Maybe cyclists should be required to wear airbag suits.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo9Vlt5tGwY

    Airbag pack quite a punch, it could turn a potential brush with a car into getting knocked off ones bike.
    Last edited by dobber; 04-25-08 at 01:00 PM.

  19. #19
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I systemic way of perhaps achieving the same results is to keep high speed motoring confined to corridors (freeways) and decrease the speed of surface streets to a speed safe for pedestrians. Remote speed regulators anyone? Off the freeway, hit a stoplight to make speed go to zero, then regulate it to below 30mph.
    What about rural areas? Sometimes one needs to punch the accelerator to avoid a collision.

  20. #20
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sledbikes View Post
    and if youre the idiot then what?
    Inconceivable!
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  21. #21
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Carmakers do spend some effort on pedestrian protection (some more than others; Honda might be the only one with a pedestrian-specific crash test facility), with foldaway mirrors, laminated & tempered glass, empty crush space under hoods, hidden radio antennas, etc.

    I really don't see how an external airbag can work. Inside the car, airbag design has a real advantage in that the position of the driver & passenger is already known. You know how much space & time you have available to deploy an airbag. However, on the exterior, the only guaranteed location of a pedestrian collision is "any forward-facing surface". Plus, for an airbag system to know about a pedestrian collision means that it's already underway -- it could be like triggering a driver airbag by hitting the steering wheel with your head.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
    I remember reading in a Pop-sci a while ago about a motorcycle vest that is an air bag. I don't know the details of how it works, but basically, when the motorcyclist crashes, the vest inflates and the rider is enclosed in this huge ball....something lighter may work for cyclists.....just sayin...
    And if the inflation medium was helium you could rise above the vehicle hitting you. Of course, the other characteristic of airbags of instantly deflating immediately after the impact would have to be looked at.

    Cue high-pitched cries for help as you drift off into the sky

  23. #23
    velotaffer photoassign's Avatar
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