Hyundai's Multi-Collision Airbag System is 'First-of-Its-Kind'
A report made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 30 percent of accidents involve a secondary impact. Secondary impacts can be classified as multi-collision impacts, and according to its study:
- 30.8 percent of multi-collision accidents involve cars crossing over the center line
- 13.5 percent of multi-collision accidents are caused by sudden stops at highway tollgates
- 8 percent are caused by highway median strip collisions
- 4 percent are caused by sideswiping and collision with trees and electric poles
Multi-collision accidents explained
According to Hyundai Motors, multi-collision accidents are crashes involving a primary or initial impact, followed by a second (or third) collision with immobile objects.
Almost all car seat airbags only offer protection only for accidents involving a primary crash or impact. Hyundai sets to change this by becoming the first car manufacturer to offer its customers a "multi-collision airbag system" that gets activated once the vehicle experiences a secondary impact during a crash.
"By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers," said Taesoo Chi, head of Chassis Technology Center at Hyundai Motor Group. "We will continue our research on more diverse crash situations as part of our commitment to producing even safer vehicles that protect occupants and prevent injuries."
The system works by identifying the occupant's position in the cabin after an initial crash has taken place. It then deploys a secondary airbag once the sensor detects a turning angle change in the vehicle.
"It resembles the curtain airbag that is deployed alongside the windows of the vehicle in a broadside collision," Hyundai explained. "If the turning angle of the vehicle is changed due to a rollover accident, the sensor detects it, and the inflator deploys the airbag."
All future Kia and Hyundai automobiles will include this airbag technology. So far, no specific date on when it will start has been confirmed yet.