Ford Introduces Inflatable Seat Belts

For 20 years we’ve seen leaps in car-safety innovation from the airbag to electronic stability control. Today, Ford announced one more piece of technology that aims to reduce even more injuries. The company will roll out inflatable seat belts for the rear seats in future models, starting with the next-generation Ford Explorer that’s transitioning from a body-on-frame SUV to a crossover when it goes on sale in 2010.

Inflatable seat belts will reduce the trauma that standard seat belts can inflict on both young children and seniors. Ford says the new system will reduce head, neck and chest trauma.

The airbags deploy within 40 milliseconds of a crash; otherwise they work the same as standard seat belts and will be compatible with child-safety seats.

The seat-belt airbags will fill quickly with a cold compressed gas instead of using a heat-generating chemical reaction like traditional airbags.

Ford says the system will be introduced in future models down the line but gave no specifics on when it would hit family-friendly vehicles like the Flex and Taurus.
By David Thomas | November 5, 2009 | Comments (4)


Looks like the kid has got a giant burrito across his chest


One important point about safety belts that is rarely mentioned. Once a safety belt has been in a serious accident where the driver is restrained by the the belt. it should be replaced as part of the repair.
This would be the same for a mountain climber who's fall is arrested by a rope in a sudden drop. After that the rope may not have the same breaking strength.
Insurance companies should agree to this expense as part of the claim process.


Flotation devices in cars make perfect sense to me...good job Ford.

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