Though it will take a while before they are perfected, external airbags are already known to provide great safety benefits. The ZF Group has its own strategy for developing external airbags that go on the sides of a vehicle to protect occupants from side collisions. Texas residents may want to learn more about these features.

According to ZF, external airbags reduce injury severity by as much as 40 percent. ZF’s own airbags act as an additional crumple zone and are meant to absorb some of the shock of a crash. There are challenges to be met, however. First is how to get the predictive system to recognize an impending crash. Second is how to get the airbags to deploy a split second before the event. Lastly, airbags are known to deploy at inappropriate times.

The concerns are justified because current predictive systems do nothing as drastic as deploying airbags; some tighten seatbelts, while others adjust the suspension. ZF points to advances in camera and sensor technology, especially lidar, radar and ultrasonics tech, as providing an answer.

ZF’s current model is approximately 80 inches long, 21 inches high and 15 inches wide. It weighs about 13 pounds. Despite the size, the external airbags inflate in 15 milliseconds, putting it on the same footing as a steering wheel airbag.

Until self-driving cars come out, though, there is really no way to prevent negligent drivers from leaving others with personal injuries. If those injuries lead to serious conditions, lost wages and even lost earning capacity, victims may want to consider filing a claim.

They must show that the other party was mostly to blame, so it might be a good idea to retain a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers usually have networks of professionals, including crash reconstruction experts, who can strengthen the case. The lawyer may opt to handle all negotiations.