Reduce Your Airbag Risk
Airbags provide extra protection for belted occupants. They are designed to help keep your head, neck, and chest safe in a front-end crash. Most often, an airbag will deploy when a vehicle hits another vehicle or a solid object (like a tree). However, an airbag is not a soft, billowy pillow. It comes out of the dashboard at up to 200 miles per hour, faster than the blink of an eye. Because of this great force, an airbag can injure those who are too close to it.
Airbags differ in design and performance. There are differences in the crash speeds that trigger airbag deployment, the speed and force of the deployment, the size and shape of the airbag, and the manner in which they unfold and inflate. For specific information about the airbags in your vehicle, contact the vehicle manufacturer.
Ways to Reduce Airbag Risk
- All vehicle occupants should wear their seat belts on each and every trip. Drivers should sit with at least a 10-inch clearance between the center of the steering wheel or dashboard and their chest. The steering wheel should be tilted upward, not straight across from the torso. Passengers in the front seat should double the distance due to the increased size of the passenger airbag.
- Drivers are responsible for making sure that everyone is buckled up.
- Infants in rear-facing child safety seats should never be placed in front of active passenger airbags.
- Children under 13 should always use a child safety seat or a seat belt in the back seat. Even if there isn't a passenger airbag in the vehicle, the safest place for infants and children is properly secured and buckled up in the back seat.
- Check your vehicle owner's manual and the instructions provided with your child safety seat for correct use information.
Airbags are supplemental safety devices - they must be used with a seat belt to be most effective. Airbags have been credited in saving thousands of lives and reduces the risk of serious head injuries.Source: The Minnesota Safety Council, citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration