Carmakers are already mandated by safety groups to design vehicle exteriors that minimize damage to pedestrians upon impact. We’ve seen rules that stipulate maximum bonnet heights and front overhang lengths as well as the development of a ‘pop-up’ bonnet (pictured), but now the Dutch Cycling Federation (DCF) wants car designers to go a step further and install externally venting airbags on all passenger cars.

The cycling group cites a recent study that shows up to 60 lives per year could be saved in the Netherlands alone if air bags were installed on the hoods of cars. These same airbags could also prevent up to 1,500 serious injuries per year, reports Automotive News. The DCF is now calling on the government and the car industry to take action and make a decision on the roll-out of new external airbags.

The technology is already here. Sweden auto parts supplier Autoliv Inc has already developed an air bag that inflates from the bottom of the windscreen and both Jaguar and Nissan have developed bonnets that pop-up to absorb more of the impact during collisions with pedestrians or cyclists. There are also a number of companies developing jackets with inbuilt airbags so if cyclists are truly concerned they will soon be able to take their own initiative and improve their own personal safety.