Bag it up

In the US, new cars and trucks are to be fitted with larger side air bags in order to prevent motorists from being hurled out their vehicles in rollover crashes.

The US Transportation Department is to usher in the new requirements to protect motorists in the event of dangerous accidents.

In 2009, more than 8,000 people were killed in rollovers, according to the most recent data.

The new rules are the latest attempt to address the situation. Legislation passed under the Bush administration forced car companies to use Electronic Stability Control, a technology that helps prevent rollovers, on all new vehicles.

Changes to the air bags are expected to prevent nearly 400 deaths and nearly 500 serious injuries each year.

The protection are to be phased in starting in 2013. By 2018 all new cars will be required to have the bigger new bags.

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