Conventional seat belts mounted on our cars are stretching in case of accident, preventing the passenger from colliding with inside parts of the car while reducing the force of the impact.
Ford is planning to introduce on its production models a new type of inflatable seat belts, which further reduce pressure on the chest of back seat passengers.
Thanks to these belts, in fact, the pressure caused by the impact is spread over a surface five times larger, thus avoiding shock, wounds or even deadly consequences caused by conventional seat belts. Unlike airbags, which are inflated by means of a small explosion, these belts are inflated by compressed gas, contained in a small cylinder located under the seat.
At the moment of impact, the air fills up a sort of accordion-shaped bag which expands inside the belt. The bag is inflated in a slightly slower way if compared to the burst that operates airbags, and this means that the protection given by seat belts is smoother and with less potential risks than the ones connected with usage of airbags.
During everyday use of our car, the inflatable belt works exactly like its conventional equivalent, than thanks to its thickness and softness, this padded belt gives a better comfort, especially with higher temperatures when a normal seat belt can turn into a real pain.
Inflatable seat belts will be mounted on the back seat of Ford Explorer models sold in the North American market, and over a few years will gradually be made available for markets of the rest of the world, for safer and softer traveling!