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The Truth Behind Vehicle Airbags – Millions of Vehicle Airbags Have Been Recalled Lately

Many people are familiar with the lifesaving nature of air bags. Air bags have protected people from serious injuries and death during vehicular accidents. While air bags are a good safety fail-safe, there are some negatives associated with air bags and whisperings that they do more harm than good.

This article will provide the truth behind vehicle airbags and identify both the good and bad things about them. There have been over 8,400,000 recalled airbags since 2017.  Here is the list of car manufacturers it affects:

Table of Car Manufacturers with Airbag Recalls

RankCar Manufacturer
1Acura
2Audi
3BMW
4Cadillac
5Chevrolet
6Chrysler
7Daimler Trucks North America (Sterling Bullet)
8Daimler Vans USA LLC (Sprinter)
9Dodge / Ram
10Ferrari
11Fisker
12Ford
13GMC
14Honda
15Infiniti
16Jaguar
17Jeep
18Land Rover
19Lexus
20Lincoln
21Mazda
22McLaren
23Mercedes-Benz
24Mercury
25Mitsubishi
26Nissan
27Pontiac
28Saab
29Saturn
30Scion
31Subaru
32Tesla
33Toyota
34Volkswagen (VW)

A Lifesaving Innovation

Airbags are commonly considered to be life saving devices and they certainly can be in many situations. Airbags will reduce the possibility that a passenger will fly out of their vehicle during an accident and into traffic.

Benefits of Airbags

Airbags also help to reduce head injuries and significant neck injuries from whiplash and help to protect individuals from glass shards from shattered windows in an accident.

Further, side air bags can provide additional cushioning that can help to reduce damage from side accidents which are a common cause of death.

As of 2012, 2,213 lives have been save because of Airbags according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This chart illustrated how many lives are saved by vehicle airbags year by year.

Data provided by NHTSA

Airbags are also getting safer and more reliable due to technical innovations that are controlling the timing of the airbag release more effectively. As such, airbags have many positives associated with them and are an effective safety measure in many situations.

Check out an airbag deployed spontaneously in the video below:

Causing More Harm Than Good?

While airbags have many benefits associated with them they can also cause serious injuries to those in an accident either due to technical failure or misuse. Airbags can also be dangerous when they are deployed. When an airbag opens up, it travels at speeds up to two hundred miles per hour. Significant head injuries can occur when a person hits an airbag prior to its full inflation.

Small Children & Elderly

Another issue with airbags is their placement in a vehicle and how children and the elderly are impacted by airbag deployment. Airbags are commonly designed for usage by adults. This causes difficulty when small children are in a vehicle when an airbag deploys causing suffocation or significant injury.

This is particularly exasperated by the presence of side airbags or when a small child is sitting in the front seat of a car and is not able to bear the brunt of an airbag fully inflating in front of them.

Can an Airbag Kill a Child?

Answer Yes. Seating a child in the passenger side of the vehicle is dangerous. Airbags are manufactured for Adults and not children. Your child is not safe even if you place him/her in a rear-facing child seat.

Due care should be used to reduce the possibility of these situations by placing children in the back seat of a car and being cognizant of the placement of airbags in the vehicle. 

In the video below is an airbag deployed in slow motion:

Further, some people put full reliance on the importance of an airbag and avoided using seat belts as a result, leading to serious injuries. Airbags should be used in conjunction with seat belts which can minimize the significance of an accident.

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Conclusion

Airbags are well known to be life savers and have contributed to a reduction in vehicular fatalities since their introduction. However, there are certain risks that occur when airbags are installed in your vehicle with particular added on risk to children in vehicles that have side airbags.

While this article is not advocating that air bags should be avoided and removed from a vehicle if installed, caution should be used particularly when you are travelling with young children. Be aware of airbag placement and in the strength and safety features associated with airbags in your vehicle.

Eduardo Dieguez

Eduardo Dieguez

Today's guest post was written by Eduardo Dieguez from Linear Automotive. He spent time living in Switzerland as a child helping to foster a culturally open mind from an early age. 

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