The Inflatable Curtain (IC) - A New Head Protection System in Side Impacts
Car accident investigations have shown that the head, the chest and the abdomen are the three most vulnerable body regions in side impacts, when serious-to-fatal (MAIS 3-6) injuries are considered. Injuries are much more common to occupants seated on the struck side than to those on the non-struck side. The development of new side impact protection systems has therefore been focused on struck side occupants. The first airbag system for side impact protection, jointly developed by Volvo and Autoliv, was introduced on the market in 1994. The SIPS bag is seat-mounted and protects mainly the chest and the abdomen, and also to some extent the head, since the head's lateral relative displacement is reduced by the side airbag, thereby keeping the head inside the car's outer profile. However, if an external object is exposed in the head area, for example in a truck-to-car side impact or in a single car collision into a pole or a tree, there is a need for an additional head protection device.