There is a myth that airbags end more lives than they save. Although this opinion has long been baseless, it is a myth that is even more busted by the modern airbags. Airbags were first introduced as part of the Oldsmobile Tornado in 1973. Airbags have been saving lives for more than four decades. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the statistics are enough to prove that airbags save lives:
- As of 2012, frontal airbags alone saved more than 42,000 lives
- Air bags, when combined with seat belts, reduce fatality risk by 51 percent
- Well-tested side air bags can reduce fatality rates by 37 percent in cars and 52 percent in SUVs
Why Is the Modern Airbag Safer?
A common question is, what makes the modern airbag safer? There are two main reasons: 1) sheer numbers and 2) innovation in design.
- Sheer number: Newer cars generally have up to 12 airbags, found in the steering wheel or dashboard, front of the knees, in rear doors, and even in the roof. Side airbags have also become standard in most newer cars. The flexible designs of these modern airbags protect out of position motorists, especially children and small adults.
- Innovation in design: The new generation of airbags features impressive technology that can determine the severity of the crash, the size and posture of occupants, and whether you’re wearing a seat belt. These new designs can also adjust the airbag’s deployment based on these factors.
Safety Tips for Airbag Users
Despite the improved modern and safer airbags, injury risk has only been minimized – not erased. To make the new features even safer, below are a few airbag safety tips:
- Always wear your seatbelt because airbags are meant to be worn in conjunction with seatbelts.
- Always keep a safe distance with the car in front of you.
- Always seat your young kids in the back seat because that is the safest place for children.
- Always try to remain a safe distance from your steering wheel to reduce injuries from airbag impact — 10 inches or more.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent party, you may be entitled to compensation. As a family member of a loved one who died in an accident, you may also be entitled to compensation. To ensure you get the full money damages you deserve, you need to consult with and hire a Los Angeles accident attorney.