Secondary Safety Features
Seatbelts save lives and must be worn by both front- and rear-seat passengers. Seatbelts drastically reduce the chance of death and injury and modern seatbelts have further enhancements to improve their effectiveness. Seatbelt pre-tensioners take up any slack in the belt when they detect that a crash is imminent. Load limiters help minimise belt-inflicted injury by allowing the belt to stretch slightly as a crash takes place, reducing the peak load that is placed on the passenger’s body.
An Airbag is a safety device in a car which automatically fills with air if the car crashes and is designed to protect the people traveling in the car. In general, the more airbags a car has, the better. Front airbag helps in head-on crashes; seat- and doormounted airbags help protect the pelvis, chest and abdomen in a side-on impact; and curtain airbags drop down from the roof lining to protect passenger’s heads.
To prevent potential injuries to front-seat occupants caused by lower-level parts of the car’s interior, knee-level airbags have been introduced. Rule 125 (1A) of Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989, makes it mandatory for four - wheelers (cars) to have seatbelts. Section 194B in Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill (MVAB) imposes penalty of Rs 1,000 for driving without safety belt or carrying passengers (both front and rear) not wearing seatbelts. The section also proposes that ‘whoever drives a motor vehicle or causes or allows a motor vehicle to be driven with a child who, not having attained the age of fourteen years, is not secured by a safety belt or a child restraint system shall be punishable with a fine of Rs 1,000.’
3. Head Restraints
Head restraints are an automotive safety feature integrated into the top of each seat. They are designed to prevent whiplash injuries, but to be effective they must be well-designed and adjusted correctly for the height of the occupant.
Nowadays some cars have active head restraints that actually move forward in a crash situation to better support the head and neck and mitigate the effects of whiplash injury.