Drivers in Virginia may not instantly think of airbags on the outside of their vehicles as being all that helpful, but there’s compelling research suggesting otherwise. New data presented by a leading car parts maker suggests that external airbags may reduce the severity of injuries sustained by vehicle occupants by as much as 40 percent. These results could provide an added incentive for widespread implementation of this type of technology.

External airbags are designed to deploy in motor vehicle accidents involving side impacts. They provide an added “crumple zone” during impacts to absorb some of the blow to areas where drivers or passengers are usually located. However, there are some issues with technology that have kept external airbags from being adapted at a faster pace. For instance, vehicles must be able to detect when a collision is about to happen so that the airbags on the outside can be appropriately deployed.

Some vehicles already have accident prediction systems. Even so, there’s the added challenge of finding the right type of related technology to minimize the risk of external airbags going off when they’re not needed. The car parts maker behind the study on outer vehicle airbags has been exploring possibilities with radar, ultrasonic and camera technology as part of an effort to solve this problem.

The design and size of external airbags used if this technology is universally adopted would vary based on the type of vehicle. Because of the issues that still need to be worked out, it will likely be a while before external airbags become a standard feature although research results are widely considered to be encouraging.

Even with airbags, there’s always the possibility of injuries when a vehicle collision occurs. Should a car accident involve some type of negligence, an attorney may be able to build a case against the liable party. Depending on the circumstances involved, an attempt might be made to seek a mutually acceptable settlement between relevant parties. A lawyer may be able to address related issues with insurance companies following an accident where personal injuries occurred, especially if there are difficulties obtaining payments or questions about liability.