Air bags do save lives
Much attention has been given recently to the dangers posed to children by air bags.
While air bags work very well with lap/shoulder belts to protect older children and adults who ride facing the front of the car, they could seriously injure or even kill an unbuckled child or adult who is sitting too close to the air bag or who is thrown toward the dash during emergency braking. They do not work with rear-facing child seats.
Automobile and air bag manufacturers will soon produce "smart" air bags that will tailor the deployment to the size of the occupant and the crash circumstances. In the meantime, take steps to help avoid unnecessary injuries:
If you have any questions regarding auto safety, call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393. As we continue to learn more about air bag safety, let's take all the precautions we can to ensure a safe ride.
- The rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride.
- An infant in a rear-facing child seat must ride in the back seat if your vehicle has a passenger side air bag.
- Make sure everyone in the front seat is properly buckled up and seated as far back from the air bags as is reasonably possible.
- Make sure that all young children are properly secured in a child safety seat and older children by a lap/shoulder belt.
- Know how to properly install your child seat in the vehicle. Read both the owner's manual for the vehicle and the instructions for your child safety seat.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration