Occupational Safety and SRS
Testing Frontal Airbag Passive Performance:
SRS frontal airbags are powerful passive safety devices that have been designed to
deploy at a pre-set threshold value to prevent unwanted deployment causing injury
to front occupants. The tests were conducted by the ‘Top Gear’ TV program at Opel
in Germany. They were devised to show frontal system’s passive performance in relation
to likely events that could realistically be encountered by motorists, where airbag
deployment would be counter productive and could lead to injury.
Unwanted deployment can lead to significant injury and even death. It is important
that airbags only deploy where crash kinematics are sufficient to cause significant
injury. Although the video trials the system in a novel and entertaining way, it
never-the-less highlights the performance, or rather non performance, of frontal
airbags in situations where deployment would not be beneficial.
As critical as this may be, it is vital that the airbags do deploy on impact where
their pre-set limit value is met. However airbag non-deployment and late deployment
is a known occurrence often missed investigating the crash or when considering the
mechanisms of injury.