Do airbags really save lives?

Some car buyers purchase their new car based on its safety rating so the amount of airbags is a consideration for them but do airbags really do what we expect them to during an accident?



The happy truth is that airbags really do save lives. Statistics from the USA show that an average of 584,000 airbags are deployed each year in that country alone. The estimates suggest that around 6,377 lives are saved per year in America thanks to airbags, and countless smaller injuries are avoided when they’re deployed in an accident. Unfortunately there are other stats that suggest that when airbags don’t deploy properly they can actually add to the injuries drivers and passenger experience. The same American agency suggest that around 60 lives could have been saved in some accidents during which airbags were deployed.


Records from the archives of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in American there were 175 fatalities between 1990 and 2000. Of that number, 104 were children. All of the victims were involved with low speed accidents which they should have survived with ease. Although America was the first nation to get airbags, they’re not the only ones to have carried out throughout research on the subject. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has published a report from 2010 using data compiled by the UK’s Department for Transport that suggest drivers rather than passengers are more at risk in an accident. The study’s conclusion is that seatbelts are far cheaper and more effective than airbags, which it describes as a “secondary safety measure.”


Every safety aspect of the car is designed to work in conjunction with the others so there’s very little chance that even a modern airbag will prevent serious injury if you’re not using your seat belt. Your seating position also has a bearing on your safety as stats show that those who sit closer to the wheel suffer more injuries. Consider whether you can change that without putting your ability to drive the car at risk.

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