Design & Technology
Brakes and airbags – the fundamentals of safety October 10th, 2016
Kia Motors has many goals in mind when it comes to designing and creating cars, but among our objectives, passenger comfort and safety are at the top of the list. To ensure that drivers and passengers are safe on the road, we have invested hours in rigorous research and testing to deliver the high-quality safety features found in our vehicles.
While cutting-edge, high-tech safety features certainly play a role in comfortable driving, it is important to realize that the fundamentals of vehicle safety start with very basic features. Join Kia BUZZ today as we discuss brakes and airbags, the most basic and essential elements of car safety!
The anti-lock braking system (ABS), first developed in the late 1920s for aircrafts, is the most standard automobile safety system found in vehicles today. Current systems are more responsive than their predecessors, allowing for shorter stopping distances while providing better stability and control during sudden braking situations.
The most important benefit of ABS is that it uses sensors to monitor speeds of each wheel to prevent them from locking up while braking. By controlling the over-rotation of wheels while the brakes are applied, ABS provides drivers with more control of the car and comes in handy during emergency situations.
The Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) button enables convenient stopping and parking on inclines
To accommodate for the increasing speed of automobiles, vehicles today come with two sets of brakes: the pedal brake and the parking brake. The pedal allows drivers to decrease speed or come to a full halt by pulsing down on the foot pedal. The parking brake lets drivers safely park on sloping terrain, and many Kia vehicles are equipped with an Electric Parking Brake with hill-hold stop feature can be activated with a touch of a button.
We can never forget about airbags when it comes to discussing occupant safety. It is a common misconception that deployed airbags will be a soft and gentle cradle for your face and body. On the contrary, airbags can blast out of their hiding places at more than 200 miles per hour and are hard enough to support and slow a body in motion. Deflating immediately upon deployment, airbags lengthen the time of impact between driver and interior vehicle components to prevent life-threatening injuries during crashes.
In order to minimize the deadly force during severe accidents, Kia has made many modifications to airbag systems over the years. Designated as a Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), airbags most commonly work in partnership with seatbelts. Upon impact, the seatbelt pre-tensioner – a retraction device that removes slack from your seatbelt – supports and holds passengers firmly in their seats, allowing impact with the inflated airbags in a controlled way.
Kia had also added additional improvements to accommodate varying factors during accidents. Our latest vehicle line-up features a full set of airbags including dual-stage front airbag, driver knee airbag, curtain airbags and front/rear side airbags. In recent years, airbags have also been depowered to reduce inflation by 20-30% to minimize airbag injury and accommodate smaller bodies.
Brakes and airbags, the most traditional automobile safety systems, are undeniably the most important safety features on the road. Reacting immediately to external threats to keep occupants alive when things go wrong, the systems provide reassurance for a more enjoyable driving experience. We hope that today we have furthered your understanding about these fundamental systems featured on our Kia vehicles and definitely stay tuned as we bring you more stories on the active safety systems that even help you to avoid trouble on the roads.