Bang! You're Not Dead

The Science behind Airbags


Sodium azide

The Good

The Bad

The future



Testing airbags
The modern car is a triumph of engineering, particularly because of the vast array of safety features that are now standard on most models' for example; energy absorbing bumpers, impact beams in the doors, head restraints, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, strengthened roofs and, of course airbags.

The USA was the first country to introduce airbags on a large scale back in the early 1980s and since then, there has been an estimated 1.8 million airbag deployments and over 2000 lives have been saved by them, however, airbags have killed some 90 people by breaking their necks.  In Europe airbags were not introduced until much later, the large-scale use was not until the early 1990s.  Since all drivers in Europe must wear seat belts, European airbags are generally much smaller and have caused far fewer injuries than the American equivalents.

This website aims to give some basic information about airbags and how they work and also an evaluation of their use.

Site designed by Alex Shillings                                              University of Bristol