To save cyclists, put airbags on the outside of cars

TNO via Fast Company

In a car-cycle crash, no matter whose fault it was originally, the cyclist is worse off, since her relatively unprotected body is now flying at a high speed towards the road or the car itself. But a Dutch company has come up with a partial solution to this problem, which, semi-miraculously, does not require the cyclists to carry yet another piece of safety equipment. They’ve created an airbag that goes on the outside of the car.

FastCoExist reports:

The exterior airbags cover the lower portion of the windshield, creating a softer landing for a human skull flying through the air at 25 miles per hour than, say, a pane of glass. A camera positioned beneath the rear-view mirror can determine if the car is approaching any pedestrians or cyclists, and if sensors in the car’s bumper detect contact — here comes the airbag.

It might not be a perfect fix, but I think any cyclist would be happy to hit an inflated piece of plastic rather than a piece of hot metal.