Every year thousands of people lose their lives in traffic accidents. The number of lives lost in road accidents in India is much higher than the world average. This is the reason why the Indian government is emphasizing on making the cars sold in the country safer. Airbags are the most discussed among all these exercises. The government will make six airbags mandatory in all cars.
In fact, in the event of an accident, the airbags open automatically and save the lives of the occupants including the driver of the car. The discussion on car safety has increased following the death of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry in a road accident. Meanwhile, the question that arises in the minds of many people is whether they can install external airbags in their old cars? If it is possible to install airbags later, how much does it cost? Today we will tell you the answer to these questions…
This is how the discovery of airbags happened
First, we tell you how airbags were born and how they work. The name of John Hetrick from America and Walter Linderer from Germany comes in the history of the development of the airbag. Both developed airbags at almost the same time. American inventor Hetrick designed the first airbag in August 1952 and patented it in August 1953. At the same time, German inventor Linderr applied for a patent in October 1951, but being able to obtain the patent in November 1953. Linder’s design was used by Mercedes in its luxury cars. At the same time, inspired by Hetrick, companies such as Ford and Chrysler manufactured airbags.
This is how airbags work
When a car crashes, its speed decreases rapidly. The accelerometer detects this sudden change in speed. After that, the accelerometer activates the sensor in the airbag circuit. The airbag circuit emits electrical current through a heating element as soon as the sensor is activated. This causes a chemical explosion inside the airbag. As soon as the explosion occurs, gas suddenly begins to form inside the airbag, so the bag made of nylon immediately inflates. This bag protects the driver and car occupants from hitting the body or any hard object. However, the airbag is also able to protect well only when the driver and the driver of the car keep their seat belts on.
Chemical substance used in airbags
Initially, sodium azide, i.e. the chemical NaN3 was used in airbags. In the event of a collision, electricity would flow through the ignition and heat up. Due to heat, sodium azide is converted into sodium metal and nitrogen gas. This gas opens the airbag completely. Right now, car companies have started using different chemicals in the air bags, which release gas faster than before. As for the gas produced in the airbag, it must be ensured that it does not cause any negative effect on the passengers. For this reason only nitrogen is mainly used.
Airbags are nothing less than complex computers
Speaking of the structure of the airbag, it is a complex machine in itself, which requires many sensors. Its components include clock spring, crash sensor, ignition, SRS warning light, passenger seat switch, pyrotechnic inflator, ECU and seat belt pretensioners. Looking at the list of components, you must have guessed that the sensors, i.e. the computers, are necessary for the operation of the airbag. This clearly and simply means that the airbag is not a hardware product like other normal car parts, but a software product. Because of this, getting airbags later on in older cars becomes a very difficult task.
Installing airbags from the outside is deadly
Another important point is that airbags are developed and designed differently for all cars. The car model in which the airbag is to be installed is first crash tested several times. In this way, it is verified what is the response of a car of this type in the event of a collision. The sensor and airbag are calibrated to the same response. You cannot install an airbag from another model in another model. By doing so, the airbag will not operate properly. In the event of a collision, the airbag will not deploy or may only deploy after the brakes are applied, which can be very dangerous and in many cases fatal.
You will have to spend more than the car
Even after knowing all this, if you want airbag installed in your old car, there is a solution for that. You can install an airbag in your old car, but it may happen that the cost of installing this airbag is more than the cost of your car. You can replace the old steering of the car and get this steering, which is equipped with an airbag. Although this is only possible in some cars. Talking about its cost, you might have to spend between 4-5 lakh rupees. Even after spending such a large amount, you will not be guaranteed safety, because we told you above that the airbugs are specially designed for each model.