FreightViking is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links. Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.



Do Semi Trucks Have Airbags? (14 Questions Answered)

Airbags were not originally installed in semi trucks for the simple fact that they were considered safe enough that in the unlikely event of an accident the driver and any passengers would be safe.

However, there was one manufacturer that feels differently about this and for quite a few years now has been perfecting its Rolltek driver seat with airbag to further protect the operator.

Here’s a quick answer to whether Semi Trucks have Airbags:

Large semi truck manufacturers like Volvo, Freightliner, Peterbilt, and Mack have airbags installed in their semi trucks, however, not all models will have them. Most trucks have the Rolltek airbag systems by IMMI installed. There are currently no regulations for semi trucks to have airbags fitted.

Do Semi Trucks have Airbags?

It was originally thought that semi trucks did not need airbags due to their size.

Since 1995 The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) and manufacturers noticed the need for them more than ever and installations began.

Although there are no requirements for airbags in semi trucks by law even to this day, companies felt a need for extra protection for their drivers.

Manufacturers have come round to the idea of driver airbags on semi trucks mainly for the safety aspect but also to keep up with their competitors who all seem to be adopting similar technology.

A lot of manufacturers took to installing airbags in their semi trucks due to observing one company that has gone above and beyond in safety to produce the driver with a safer environment and has been paving the way for newer safer components.

Are Semi Trucks Required to have Airbags per Regulations?

It has been recorded that in the event of a road traffic collision a semi truck would in fact decelerate on impact due to their larger mass, therefore, the NHTSA did not see it necessary they be fitted with airbags.

The agency is not currently going to make any rules on airbag requirements beyond light vehicles.

It is yet undecided whether heavy-duty vehicles require additional safety measures.

Most manufacturers have taken the step towards that added safety and have produced trucks with driver airbags in the steering and/or to the side for drivers protection.

Do Freightliner trucks have Airbags?

In 2001 Freightliner introduced their tubular airbag at the great American trucking show in Dallas.

This innovative product has the ability to protect the driver’s head should the tractor rollover.

The airbag is triggered by a sensor that measures the angular acceleration and deploys bags diagonally from the upper rear corner of the door to the lower front edge of the dashboard.

Steering wheel airbags are also used on models like the Cascadia, in order for the system to be effective a seatbelt must be worn.

Do Volvo Trucks have Airbags?

Volvo has always lead the way when it comes to safety since 1995 with the FH model being the first ever semi truck to be available on the market with a driver airbag.

Airbags come as standard with all Volvo semi trucks.

Volvo does not compromise or take shortcuts when it comes to safety they have certainly raised the bar to an entirely new level.

The VNL model offers a rollover bag that is integrated into the driver seat and deploys as the name suggests in the event of the truck rolling over.

This bag complements the already standard issued steering wheel-mounted driver side airbag.

Do Isuzu Semi Trucks have Airbags?

The Giga series offers standard double side intrusions bars, seatbelt pre-tensioners, and driver and passenger airbags, a huge step in the Isuzu brand.

Isuzu has lead the market for 26 years Downunder for its long wheelbase, reliability, and automated transmission.

It still has a long way to go to catch up with the big players in the game but Australians love it.

They might not be the American favorite but their No1 when it comes to low cab forward trucks.

Do Peterbilt Semi Trucks have Airbags?

Peterbilt is another brand that has incorporated the Rolltek safety system into their trucks.

Aside from deploying the side roll airbags the system also lowers the driver seat and tightens the seatbelt in an effort to keep the driver away from the steering wheel.

Ever striving to improve on-road safety Peterbilt trucks come as standard with Collision Mitigation Systems, equipped with advanced radar and cameras.

The sensors react to situations the driver may not be aware of.

Do Kenworth Semi Trucks have Airbags?

The T680 and T880 both have Rolltek side roll protection by IMMI.

With concerns over driver safety manufacturers didn’t want to take any chances in protecting their customers from a fatal accident.

Another safety measure taken by Kenworth is the installment of Bendix Wingman Fusion, a high-tech gadget that gathers data from sensors, video, and brake systems.

The camera and sensors are continuously gathering, sharing, and communicating with the brakes to assist the driver further in their effort to stay safe on the roads.

Do International Semi Trucks have Airbags?

International has come a long way in terms of safety from enhanced collision mitigation and stationary vehicle braking to enhanced adaptive cruise control

International always strive for more safety.

They introduced Rolltek side roll protection into their LT, RH, HV, and HX series and have had the added benefit of safety with the system response time at around 40 milliseconds.

Do Mack Semi Trucks have Airbags?

With the rapid advancement in the direction of safety-related technology manufacturers are eager to try out the latest thing on the market and when Mack heard about Rolltek they just had to have it.

Safety being their primary concern they decided to place them on their Pinnacle, Anthem, and Granite models and like all manufacturers, drivers and companies, they hope to never have to use them.

Good driving and early planning should prevent such a case and it really is the last line of defense against the build-up to possible circumstances that will be beyond our control once the truck reaches the tipping point.

Do Western Star Semi Trucks have Airbags?

Western Star plans to grow to 8 percent of the market share in America and Canada by 2025.

To do this they have to keep up with the current technology and offer their customers the best of the best.

One way to do this is by placing the latest safety equipment, the Rolltek System, into their 4700, 4800, 4900, 6900, and XD models.

Not only does it attract customers but it shows the lengths the company will go to for safety.

How is a Truck Driver Safeguarded during a Collision?

The seatbelt is one of the main safeguards during a collision. Wearing it will prevent the driver from leaving their seat and exiting the vehicle through the windshield.

The windshield and side windows are made from shatter-resistant glass covered in a special material designed to break into a million pieces.

On impact, it holds the glass together and stops large sharp bits from breaking off.

Steering wheel and side airbags will protect the driver in the most severe cases, supporting their head, neck, and body from further injuries and in the event of a fire, keeping them conscious to exit the vehicle.

A driver’s intuition either upon noticing a collision is about to take place or during a collision and having the ability to minimize or even avoid further damage or risk to life.

How is a Truck Driver Safeguarded when the Truck Turns Over?

The Rolltek System will detect the vehicle’s angular position and angular rate then deploy the protective components at less than a quarter of a second as the vehicle moves towards a 90-degree tilt/roll.

An airbag from the side of the driver seat will protect them against the side window and the lowering of the seat coupled with the tightening of the seatbelt pulls them away from the steering wheel.

These safety guards help prevent injuries to the head and torso.

Steering wheel airbags will reduce further possible injuries to the face and neck.

Can you Install an Airbag in your Semi Truck?

It turns out you can actually have an Airbag or Rolltek system fitted to your semi truck from IMMI or other authorized workshops.

You can also purchase a diagnostic tool that reads any faults that may pop up.

A fault light will illuminate to notify the driver of any potential problems, it is a good idea to look into having extra protection fitted as they will save your life.

What is the Safest Semi Truck?

When we talk safest, Volvo comes to mind for many.

They have been leaders in safety for many years and this year is no different, with the high-strength steel cabs.

The company holds higher standards than those set by any government and vigorously tests their trucks, aiming towards zero accidents with the help of their high-tech equipment.

Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) detects loss of control, jackknife, or rollover and corrects the fault by reducing engine torque and selectively applying the brakes.

I Shift reduces driver fatigue allowing them to give their full attention to the road and surroundings.

Driver Assist continually detects any stationary objects in front and will brake if the driver doesn’t respond to the alarm set off by the sensor.

At the moment they are the only manufacturer to have Rolltek in every truck they make.

Their not the only safe truck out there, but they are the best.

Happy Trucking!

How Much Are Volvo Semi Trucks?