Saturday, January 21, 2012

How Airbags Save Lives

Safety is a concern for all drivers. Since the late 1980's, airbags have proven to reduce the risk of severe injuries and death in vehicle collisions. Today, airbags are standard in vehicles and their technology continues to evolve to provide improved safety on the road.

The airbags that most drivers are familiar with are the front driver and passenger airbags. These airbags are built into the steering wheel and the dash of the vehicle. When a car is in a crash, sensors within the vehicle communicate with the airbag telling it to inflate. Gas is then released to fill the airbag in about one twentieth of a second. The bag provides a cushion for the driver or passenger to collide with as opposed to the windshield. In newer vehicles, the amount of air that the bag fills with depends on the severity of the crash. This can ensure that the victim is met with the proper amount of protection and a reduced risk of injury.

Side airbags are another common type of airbag in a vehicle. These airbags are designed to protect the head and chest of those involved in a side impact crash. They can be hidden in the roof, door or seat of a vehicle. Unlike front airbags, side airbags are not required by law to be in a vehicle. However, studies show that close to 1,000 lives each year would be saved and about 1,000 serious injuries could be prevented if every car in the U.S. was equipped with a side head airbag.

New innovations in airbags continue to be tested and developed by the auto industry. Recent introductions include knee airbags. These are made to protect the lower body of the driver and to also prevent them from sliding down during a crash. Rear curtain and rear center airbags have also been introduced to further protect back seat passengers from side impact collisions.

Airbags, like all safety features, are not without their faults. Children are at a great risk of injury from airbags. For this reason, they should never be placed in the front seat. Children and infants should be placed in the back seat in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible. There are also increased risks for drivers and passengers that sit less than ten inches from the airbag as the force of the bag can cause injury when very close. Constant innovations, such as switches to turn certain airbags off, will hopefully make some of these concerns obsolete.

Simply put, airbags save lives in an auto accident. Since their introduction, it has been estimated that airbags have reduced crash fatalities by 30% and severe injuries by about 29%. When airbags are combined with seat belts, the percentage rises even higher. As the number of cars on the road continues to increase, safety is a major concern. Features such as airbags, when used properly, can help to protect passengers and drivers on the road.

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If your vehicle has been damaged in a car accident come see the experts at Corby's Collision. When you do business with us you will not only deal with our qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.