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Airbags: These Devices Have Slashed The Highway Death Toll

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Airbags: These Devices Have Slashed The Highway Death Toll

Transportation_PassengerAirBagLogoAirbags are one of the most important safety innovations of recent decades. They provide crucial cushioning for people during a crash. The devices are normally hidden from view but inflate instantly when a crash begins. Thanks to the advocacy of IIHS and others, frontal airbags have been required in all new passenger vehicles since the 1999 model year. Side airbags aren’t specifically m andated, but nearly all manufacturers include them as st andard equipment in order to meet federal side protection requirements.

Both frontal and side airbags save lives. Frontal airbags reduce driver fatalities in frontal crashes by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 32 percent. Side airbags that protect the head reduce a car driver’s risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37 percent and an SUV driver’s risk by 52 percent.

Engineers keep finding new ways to use airbags. Some vehicles now have rear-window curtain airbags to protect people in back seats or front-center airbags to keep drivers and front-seat passengers from hitting each other in a crash. There are also inflatable safety belts aimed at reducing rear-seat injuries.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Airbags.” iihs.org website. Accessed May 29, 2014. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/airbags/topicoverview

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

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