All About Airbags

Car shopping for that perfect ride? It’s a good idea to take airbags into consideration, too. Airbags and seatbelts have allowed thousands of passengers to walk away from serious accidents with only minor injuries — or less — because of the protection they provide.

Brush up with a few of these facts about airbags, and shop smart for your next car.

Airbag Facts to Know

  • Inflated airbags are designed to cushion the head and upper body during a crash.
  • Frontal airbags reduce driver fatalities in frontal crashes by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 32 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • Side airbags reduce a car driver's risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37 percent and an SUV driver's risk by 52 percent.
  • Rear-window curtain airbags protect people in back seats.
  • Front-center airbags keep drivers and front-seat passengers from hitting each other in a crash.
  • Inflatable safety belts are aimed at reducing rear-seat injuries.

Airbags and Your Kids

Infants. Never put a rear-facing infant car seat in the front seat. It may be too close to the inflating airbag and its force, which can be transmitted through an infant seat.

Children. Older children should always wear lap and shoulder belts so they’re not seriously injured by the force of a deploying airbag. Properly fasten your children in car safety seats or belt-positioning booster seats.  Have the lap and shoulder belts corrected for their size.

The back seat is the safest place for children 12 and under.

If a child must ride in the front, move the seat back as far as possible away from the airbag. Be sure the child is restrained properly for his or her size. Keep in mind that your child may still be at risk of injuries from the airbag.

But First, Buckle

Even with airbags, it’s still important for everyone in your car to buckle up. Seatbelts keep people in the car and in position so the airbag can do its job — cushion your impact.

Now that you’ve got the facts, you’re all set to peruse the car market, and make sure you get the airbags you want and need before closing the deal. Happy shopping!

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Related Topics: On The Road , Car Safety , Safe Driving