It’s not a secret or a surprise that airbags save lives. There’s a reason that airbags are standard on every production car that’s road-legal: they work!
However, some people have noted some reservations about airbags, contending that they can cause damage to shorter drivers, pregnant women, or young children. That’s why proper driving habits are a must for airbags to operate a maximum efficiency.
Do They Help?
The data is pretty clear. Airbags have caused a huge drop in traffic fatalities since their introduction. Studies found that between 1987 and 2017, over 50,000 lives have been saved by frontal airbags alone.
It is vital, however, that airbags are used in conjunction with seatbelts. Many people think that seatbelts are just to stop you from jostling around in the event of an accident, but that’s only partly the case.
Seatbelts are primarily in your vehicle to keep your body in a particular position in the event that your airbags deploy. In high-speed collisions, the safety equipment doing the most work to keep you safe from injury is, in fact, your airbags.
Can They be Dangerous?
In most situations, airbags aren’t dangerous assuming you’re wearing your seatbelt. In some weirder scenarios, like in the case of a particularly short driver who needs to have their seat very close to the steering wheel, or someone who is late in pregnancy and can’t get a comfortable distance from the steering wheel, airbags could be dangerous.
In those scenarios, the government allows for driver-side airbags to be disabled, as the airbag could potentially cause more harm than good in an accident.
However, in the average situation, airbags are life-saving safety equipment. By inflating a cushion of air in front of moving bodies during a crash, airbags are able to absorb a high amount of impact force and impart that force harmlessly into the canvass that it’s made of.
That’s much preferable to those forces being imparted on an unforgiving surface like your steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield.
Kids in the Back
This is also why children should ride in the back seat until they’re tall enough that the airbag is no longer a potential danger. Car seats and then backseat riding is not so that kids just have more leg-room: it’s so they’re out of the way when airbags deploy from the passenger seat’s dashboard.
If you follow the proper procedures, your airbags can save your life. Just makes sure you know what to expect and how to ride properly in your vehicle so that your airbags can do their jobs in the event of an accident!