Gymnast and Air Bags

Bending the knees upon landing lengthens the impact duration significantly, resulting in significantly smaller F. Do realize that the impulse is not reduced. It is just spread over a longer duration.

Check out the timers at the bottom left corner. Notice how quickly the car body comes to a rest compared to the passenger. Air-bag or not, the impulses experienced by the the passenger are the same. But hitting the air bag is a lot less forceful than hitting the rigid steering wheel because of the longer impact duration.

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