Although airbags were installed and are used as a life saving safety precaution, they can also pose serious risks to drivers and passengers when they deploy. How can you avoid being injured by an airbag?
First, drivers need to remember what an airbag is. Technically, an airbag is a Secondary Restraint System. What this means is that although the airbag is a source of restraint when a car enters a collision, it is not the primary source of restraint. The primary source of restraint is the seat belt.
Second, for an airbag to be safely utilized one must know how to position oneself in the seat and what factors cause airbags to pose more risk.
• Shorter people are faced with more risk when an airbag deploys. Specifically, those people under 5’ 4” are more susceptible to injury when the airbag is deployed. Ideally, a person should be positioned so that when sitting upright in the chair, his/her wrist rests comfortably on the steering wheel.
• It is extremely important that drivers understand how dangerous it is to put a child in the front seat, especially those children that are in car seats. In addition, those children riding in a car seat should not only not be placed in the front seat, but should also not be placed backwards if they are, for whatever reason, put in the front seat. An airbag deploys at nearly 200 mph. The force of that airbag hitting the back of child’s head could cause serious injury. Children should always be sitting in the back of a car.
• Like stated previously, drivers must always remember to wear their seat belts. If a driver gets into a collision while not wearing a seat belt, he/she will be propelled forward. The propulsion met by an airbag moving at 200 mph would case severe injury. This is the cause of most injures due to airbags deploying.
Safety behind the wheel and as a passenger should be a person’s number one priority. In 2010, 1,450 people passed away due to fatal car accidents. A staggering 54% of these people were not wearing seat belts.
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Hello, I am Jeffrey Meldon. As an accident attorney, I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
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