Convertibles, though they have a much more fun factor than their sedan counterparts and let you get more involved in the feel of driving, are not up to their sedan brothers’ level when it comes to safety. The shortfall is mainly because of the absence of the hard top which does not help the occupants in case of an accident.Now, Porsche seems to have done something about it.
Porsche has applied for a patent design for an A-pillar airbag, especially for usage in convertibles, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, that could increase the safety quotient of the drop hats.
Due to the lack of a fixed roof in a convertible, they are not quite as safe as their hardtop versions during certain crashes especially the ones like a roll over, side impact and small overlap impacts. Porsche’s proposes that the new A-pillar airbags could act as an important device of safety and play the role of curtain airbags in sedans to a great extent.
The diagrams of the patent show that the airbag, when deployed, stretches the length of the A-pillar. Porsche claims that their tests have proven the airbag’s safety functionality in crashes where the occupant of the car is forced first forward and then to the side. The airbags would ensure that the head of the occupant does not hit the A-pillar in case of an accident Extrapolating Porsche’s claims, it might not be just the convertibles which might benefit from the new A-pillar airbag design, but even coupes, sedans and hatchbacks could be made a wee bit safer thanks to the new design.
The new airbag design from Porsche could be useful for better results especially in tests like the small overlap test conducted by USA’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The test focuses the force on a small portion on the vehicle’s front corner. It had been found that in some cases the dummy’s head slides off the side of the frontal airbags and hits the A-pillar. Now, with the presence of an airbag there, the risk of injury would be much lesser.