My good friend Al Sergio, National Training Director for Holmatro Rescue Tools advised me that airbag technology is making its' way into the world of the big rigs.As you read this, you'll see that the technology is much more than just a frontal airbag.

Here's Al's information:

The following information is from the Automotive Engineering, SAE Publication, February 2001 issue:

(Article) Tubular Side Airbags from Freightliner

The system deploys a tubular-shaped airbag on the driver's head during a rollover. The system will be offered on the company's Century Class S/T and Argosy heavy-duty trucks.

The system inflates a 0.7-m (2.3-ft) long airbag that extends from the A-Post to the upper B-post. An integrated sensor monitors the truck's angular or roll acceleration and deploys the airbag as rollover begins to occur.

The system works in conjunction with Freightliner's Seat Pretensioner activation for Crash Survival Enhancement (SPACE) system.

Space pulls the driver away from the roof and steering wheel by automatically lowering the driver's air suspension seat and tensioning the seatbelt. Freightliner also offers a Driver Front Airbag that deploys from the steering wheel.

According to Freightliner, its Century Class S/T Sleeper Cab is the first North American Class 8 truck cab that meets or exceeds Swedish and European ECE R-29 and SAE crash test requirements.

Production of trucks with Tubular Side Airbag Systems begins this year.

Thanks to Al Sergio. His email address is asergio@holmatro-usa.com