Hyundai takes safety issues seriously. That’s why its 2016 Elantra GT now features a driver’s knee airbag as part of the model’s comprehensive passive and active safety system. So what makes a knee airbag such a big deal aside from the fact that it used to be found just in premium cars? Well, although knee injuries in frontal crashes aren’t usually fatal, they are sure to cause lifelong disability.
While seatbelts and frontal airbags help maintain a driver’s distance from the steering wheel and instrument panel and keeps him from moving out of position during a collision, they don’t provide adequate restraint for the hips and legs. In high speed frontal crashes, the knee caps can shatter as it impacts with the dashboard and other sharp items, such as keys and accessories, on it. As such, knee airbags are fitted and deployed from underneath the dashboard to keep the seat occupant’s knees from crashing on the hard surface.
In addition to minimizing leg injuries, knee airbags also provide additional protection to the head and chest area. By reducing the amount of movement of the driver’s pelvis during a crash, the load on pressure on the chest coming for the seatbelt is reduced as well. In other words, by limiting movement in the lower limbs, the driver is able to stay in place to receive maximum protection provided by the seat belt and frontal airbag.