Our vehicles have airbags inside the dashboards, steering wheels and side panels to ensure our safety in the event of impact during a car accident. It is a fact that airbags save lives. Airbags are positioned to buffer the brunt of the impact during car crashes and collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that during the period from 1987 to 2017, frontal airbags alone saved over 50,000 lives. In combination with seatbelts, airbags (front and side) reduce the chance that your head or upper body will suffer impact from the car’s interior during a car crash.
Use the following airbag safety tips to learn about the safety benefits of airbags as well as ways to prevent injury from airbag deployment.
- Adjust your car’s steering wheel so it tilts down to your chest. In the event of an impact, you don’t want the airbag deploying at your head or neck. This area is more fragile and can’t take a forceful impact as well as your chest or torso area.
- Don’t sit too close to the steering wheel. The airbag located inside your steering wheel can deploy with great force. If you are sitting too close, you can suffer injury from the airbag alone. A good rule of thumb is to sit at least 10 inches from your steering wheel.
- Children should always be in the back seat. Because of their small stature, children are susceptible to injury caused by airbag deployment. Check your state's guidelines for age and height restrictions and follow them.
- If you are driving a 2-seater, (a car with no backseat) and you are transporting an infant, you must obtain authorization from NHTSA to install an airbag on/off switch.
- If you are buying a used car, you can obtain a free airbag check to determine if a car’s airbags have been deployed.
Frontal airbags became standard equipment in cars in 1998 and vans, trucks, and SUVs soon followed suit in 1999. Since this time, traveling the highways and byways have become much safer because of implementing airbags. I hope you take into consideration these airbag safety tips and travel with confidence.