US: IIHS test shows value of head protection airbags in SUVs
The BMW X5, the world's first light truck equipped with a head protection system, demonstrated the importance of such systems in a recent side-impact crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The test involved ramming an X5 sideways at 18 mph into a stationary pole. While the impact speed of this test might seem low, according to Brian O'Neill, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "impacts into rigid objects such as poles or trees at 18 mph are, in fact, very severe." After the test O'Neill observed, "these tests demonstrate that people can survive serious side impact crashes in the real world because head airbags prevent their heads from striking rigid objects. Side airbags with head protection represent a very important safety development that will save lives and prevent major head trauma in a range of serious side impact crashes."
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