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Happy 30th anniversary, airbag!

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Filed under: Sedan, Safety, Technology, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Airbag 30th Anniversary
The airbag turns 30 - Click above for high-res image gallery

No, the above headline isn't a greeting for your spouse on his or her special day - Daimler is celebrating the airbag's 30th anniversary. Three decades ago, the very first production car with the life-saving safety tech rolled off the line, kicking off an industry-wide push for ever safer vehicles in the process. That car was an S-Class sedan, and Mercedes-Benz says that the company had poured a total of 13 years of research and development into the project before it ever hit the street. Today, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that airbags have helped to save around 28,000 lives since the technology was first introduced - and that's just in the good old U.S. of A.

The government safety authority also says that in a typical accident, a driver wearing his or her seatbelt in a vehicle with an airbag is 61 percent less likely to be injured than those who skip the belt in vehicles with no airbag. There's no arguing that we've come a long way in a relatively short period of time.

These days, you'd be hard pressed to find a vehicle without at least some form of supplemental restraint, and Mercedes-Benz says that all of its products have featured a standard driver airbag since 1992. Hit the jump for the full press blast - but not before checking the high-res gallery below for some retro S-Class fabulousness.



[source: Mercedes-Benz]

Continue reading Happy 30th anniversary, airbag!

Happy 30th anniversary, airbag! originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 24 Sep 2010 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Some 6 years late... seeing as it was not Mercedes, but GM who introduced the airbag into regular production first in 1974.

That was very short-lived, though...GM didn't start putting regularly airbags in cars until the '90s. M-B has used them continuously since the '80s. And in the late 80s early 90s GM did the dumbest cheap ass approach to avoiding installing airbags--the deadly door mounted seatbelts..

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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They did work when properly implemented. The problem was people thinking they could go without a seatbelt just because there was an airbag in the car.

Airbags, door mounted seatbelts, motorized track shoulder belts, were all attempts to get around the "user error" of people not wearing belts. It was a "you're too stupid to be driving, so we'll do what we can to protect you from yourself" move on the part of the manufacturers.

I don't understand why people won't use seatbelts. I always wear mine and I feel very uncomfortable if I don't have it on. It makes it very difficult for me to ride in Dominic's '57 Buick because there aren't even lap belts.

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I don't understand why people won't use seatbelts. I always wear mine and I feel very uncomfortable if I don't have it on. It makes it very difficult for me to ride in Dominic's '57 Buick because there aren't even lap belts.

I find it uncomfortable riding in or driving old cars that have only a lap belt...and I don't like those awkward 2-piece belts of the late '60s. I don't understand people that don't lock their doors when driving either..

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I like driving without a seat belt, with unlocked doors, with my arm out the window, in my underwear, with one eye closed. :neenerneener:

Seriously- I was automotively bred on cars where seatbelts were optional or nonexistent, somehow that ingrained itself to me.

I try and wear it every time, but my compliance is probably about 65-70% overall.

Cars that are relentless about unbelted drivers help, but my truck isn't one of those.

Thankfully, my sons always automatically wear theirs.

-- -- -- -- --

Olds is dead right: here again mercedes is rewriting history and claiming something as a "first" when that wasn't the case, period. F'ing liars.

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Olds is dead right: here again mercedes is rewriting history and claiming something as a "first" when that wasn't the case, period. F'ing liars.

It's even in their Museum that they were the first with the airbag. I visited the MB Museum in Stuttgart and will upload the pics to C&G tomorrow.... including a picture of the offending placard.

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I find it uncomfortable riding in or driving old cars that have only a lap belt...and I don't like those awkward 2-piece belts of the late '60s. I don't understand people that don't lock their doors when driving either..

I only will wear a lap belt during the short time in which I'm being interviewed by the authorities... Lap belt only or those older 2 belt systems are a real PITA.

As for locking your doors, are you afraid of falling out or having someone come in? Doing either in my presence would be viewed as chlorinating the gene pool.

Personally, I hate the GM auto locking doors. I drive around bays and lakes... and through gates in my yard... those constantly locking doors are a real PITA every time I need to open the gate, drive through and close it. I imagine if I plunge into a lake, I'm going to drown trying to get the door open while auto-locked.

If someone outside your car is a threat, a thin layer of sheet metal and glass is not going to help much.

I like driving without a seat belt, with unlocked doors, with my arm out the window, in my underwear, with one eye closed. :neenerneener:

+1

I try and wear it every time, but my compliance is probably about 65-70% overall.

Cars that are relentless about unbelted drivers help, but my truck isn't one of those.

In many cars where I already have enough fitment issues, putting the seatbelt on compromises my safety, as it affects my ability to move or my visibility. In some... like the Sunfire, I have to recline back so far I can barely touch the steering wheel... in others, I have to sit too close to the wheel... and then I have my elbows wacking the window glass and/or passenger... plus I have to look out the front window through the window tint strip... and have the roof/sunvisor cutting off my vision. In either case, since I am living literally on the end of the seat belt, so I trigger the locking mechanism with any slight movement... which is very uncomfortable.

Obviously, I wish they would get relax the seatbelt laws, as I'm sure there are other people with similar issues. I imagine with smaller and smaller cars, I will be forced out of them because I CAN'T physically belt myself at all. As I told one cop... I don't need to wear a seatbelt.... I'm wearing the car.

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