- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2013

Swedish car maker Volvo unveiled Wednesday a new airbag designed to protect pedestrians who are hit by cars.

The airbag sits beneath the hood of the latest model Volvo V40, the New York Post reports. It pops out to protect pedestrians when crashes occur between speeds of 12 and 30 miles per hour – the speed at which many walkers are hit.

It inflates in less than a second, the New York Post reports, and raises the hood about four inches, lessening the impact on the pedestrian. Volvo – which has had a reputation for years as the model car for safe driving – also has new technology for its braking system that automatically stops or slows the car when sensors send an alert that a person has stepped in front of the vehicle, the New York Post says.

That braking technology works best at speeds up to 21 miles-per-hour. But it can also slow down vehicles traveling at higher speeds, the New York Post reports.