Sure, you did your research; you purchased the car with the best safety ratings, complete with dual and side airbags. And while those bags may a lifesaver in a collision, they still require their own set of safety rules. Since their inception in the late 1980’s, air bags have helped reduce the fatality rate of serious crashes significantly. It may seem a bit ironic, but those very air bags can pose a potential risk to drivers and passengers who don’t know proper air bag safety.
As emergency-room personnel can attest, air bags are responsible for a number of injuries and even fatalities each year. However, those can be greatly reduced by respecting the proper use of the bags. Here are a few:
- Air bags should be used in conjunction with, not as a replacement for, seat belts. Each passenger should utilize both the lap and shoulder strap of the belt.
- Children under 12 should never sit in a seat equipped with an airbag. Children should be restrained in the back seat.
- Sit at least 10 inches from the steering wheel when driving.
- Use the 10 and 2 o’clock hand positioning when driving.
- Children under 1 or less than 20 pounds should be restrained in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.
- Follow basic driving safety, as air bags are a last-resort safety feature, and will not prevent all injuries.
When it comes to your safety, it’s more than hot air.