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Rear seat passengers will soon have their own front impact airbags, thanks to an innovative new product to be fitted to Renaults. The device, which will appear on the next generation Scenic from this September, works in much the same way as a normal airbag. But instead of bursting out of the dashboard or a door panel, the protective bag expands from a pouch stitched into the lap-strap part of a safety belt.

Safety experts at Renault say they came up with the device because people were still injured in crashes despite wearing seatbelts. Research showed even at low speed impacts heads and knees tended to be thrown forward and collide with one another. Richard Yarrow

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