When a car rolls over, seat belts, front, side and curtain airbags are almost helpless in preventing injuries to its occupants. In some circumstances, passengers can even be thrown out of the car’s sunroof.
In fact, according to surveys by Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), out of 13,700 accidents occurred in the US for 15 years from the year 2000, 17% of cases had passengers thrown out of the car through the sunroof.
As such, this has led to Hyundai developing the roof airbag, first announced in 2018, to protect passengers from being ejected out of the car through the sunroof.
The roof airbag which is mounted around the sunroof can be deployed to cover the entire roof in just 0.08 seconds. It’s coated with silicone to maintain its inflated shape for up to six seconds, while stainless steel wires increase the deployment speed.
Upon testing, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found the roof airbag to be effective in preventing passengers from being ejected from the car through the sunroof. It also prevents passengers from bouncing off the sunroof, reducing head and neck injuries.