Air bags can and do save lives, but, if you do not follow the safety guidelines they can seriously injure or kill. The DMV offer the most enlightening information regarding Airbag safety on the net. The following full article is available from the DMV site. Click the link below to continue reading life saving information. Spread the word!
DMV Article: Automobile airbags have been a critical advance in driver and passenger safety, but they can cause injury or even death if not used properly.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates air bags saved more than 1,040 lives in 1998. However, there were almost 100 children killed by air bags during the same year. These deaths were because of children sitting in the front seat, being improperly fastened by seat belts, or not wearing seat belts at all.
Kids in the Back
The first rule for safe vehicle airbags is that frontal systems are not designed for youngsters. Frontal airbags can be dangerous or even fatal to the following:
- Infants or babies in backward-facing child seats.
- Small children in forward-facing child seats.
- Older children belted only by the waist-belt, but not the shoulder belt.
- Any child who is below the weight limit for the front seat and belt without a booster seat, which is typically about 12 years old.
Safety experts indicate the safest place for a child in a vehicle is in the back seat, fastened in a properly-fitted child car seat suited for the child's weight. Side or so-called curtain airbags are safe for children riding in the back. Parents and caregivers can seek assistance to properly fit and fasten their child seat at free clinics offered by firefighters, law-enforcement, or other organizations.
Even without airbags, the back seat of a vehicle is the safest place for a child to ride. As vehicles increasingly include frontal airbags, it is becoming more important to remember that children should be in the back seat at all times.
Bags Mean Belts
Air bag safety requires that all vehicle occupants be properly seated and wearing their seat belts. This means riders should be sitting upright with both feet on the ground. Both the lap belt and shoulder belt should be firmly and properly in place.
Airbags can cushion riders from the impact of a crash, but they deploy at speeds as high as 200 miles per hour. For airbags to be effective rather than harmful, riders must be correctly wearing their seat belts at all times.