29 June 2008
Bicycle Airbags on Cars
The Danes are looking at a Dutch study to see if external air bags on cars will help save lives. Since bicycle helmets are so limited in their protection and little conclusive scientific evidence exists that they save lives or prevent serious injury in collisions with other vehicles, it is possible that placement of air bags on cars can help. Cyclists are currently using other systems for protection.
Air bags are standard features on all new cars sold in Denmark but it is only the driver and passengers inside the car who benefit from them.
The Danish Cyclists' Union [DCF] wants to change all that. The DCF wants the Traffic Safety Board to research the possibility of putting air bags on the outside of cars, between the hood and the windshield. Last year 62 pedestrians were killed in traffic and between 40-50 cyclists lose their lives on Danish roads each year.
"We should exploit all the technological possibilities that can reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians who are killed or injured because of impact with cars", said a spokesman for the DCF. Drawing from the Dutch study.
216 Dutch cyclists were killed in traffic in 2006 and a state sponsored study showed that the lives of 60 cyclists and pedestrians could be saved each year, including prevention of 1500 serious injuries, if air bags are installed between the hood of the car and the windshield. Airbags on Bikes and Scooters
The chairman of the Traffic Safety Board [Færdselssikkerhedskommissionen] and member of the Parliament's traffic group, Karsten Nonbo, is ready to look at the Dutch study.
"The number of cyclists and pedestrians who lose their lives in traffic is too high. Because of that single fact is is most relevant to look at the results from the Netherlands and at what initiatives and investment can be made to bring the number down", he said.
Karsten Nonbo also mentions that it is worth looking at possibilities for constructing airbags for mounting on bicycles and scooters. [He does a lot of promising to 'look at things'... would be nicer if he actually had his finger on the pulse as chairman of the Traffic Safety Board and had read the Dutch study when it came out.] Karsten Nonbo yesterday. via: DR