Ford is to introduce inflatable rear seat belts. These new seat belts combine air bag and seat belt technology to spread the pressure of the seatbelt across a wider area of the body in the event of a collision. Ford believe the new system will help reduce head, neck and chest injuries, and will be especially beneficial to children and older passengers.
The seatbelt is inflated through a specially-designed buckle in the event of a collision being detected.
The inflatable seat belts are currently only being fitted to the Ford Explorer, Ford’s American market large 4×4. No date has yet been set for inflatable seat belts to be fitted Ford models in Europe.
Here’s a video showing the system in action:
This video also inadvertently highlights American motorists complacent attitutude towards safety – according to Ford, only about 60% of rear-seat passengers in America use a seat belt. Wow.
My own views on seat belts are far more European – based on both common sense and personal experience, I would never drive without one and would not let my rear-seat passengers do so either.