Ford Adds Inflatable Seat Belts to New SUVs
According to a Ford press release, rear passengers in the company's 2010 Explorers will be the first to experience inflatable seat belt technology. The seat belts look just like traditional seat belts, but inflate within 40 milliseconds following a crash (video after the break). Ford says, "inflatable belt helps distribute crash force energy across five times more of the occupant's torso than a traditional belt," essentially expanding the protection and redistributing pressure, keeping rib cages safer and impact less direct. The increased area of protection is particularly beneficial to children and the elderly, who can find the physically jarring crash particularly traumatic.
Ford hopes the increased comfort and safety provided by this new technology will make the prospect of wearing seat belts more palatable to passengers. We would like to think people riding in the back of a roll-over-prone SUV wouldn't need incentive to strap themselves in. That said, we're used to being disappointed. [From: DVICE, via Jalopnik]