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Airbag Safety

airbag safety

By admin on May 8, 2019

Car accident deaths, despite how frequently they occur, are completely preventable. The following considers statistics surrounding motor vehicle deaths in Ohio, and what your options are if you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Toledo.

From 1987 to 2015, frontal air bags saved 44,869 lives. That’s enough people to fill a major league ballpark. Although perhaps not as influential as the seatbelt, the airbag’s contribution to vehicle safety is significant – and when combined with a safety harness unparalleled in terms of saving lives and reducing injury. Airbags can make the difference between life and death for motor vehicle passengers in an accident. Airbags have proven to be a major factor contributing to increased motor vehicle passenger safety and survival in motor accidents. Airbags, when combined with seat belts, reduce fatality risk by 51 percent!

Ohio Car Accident Statistics You Should Know
The same source cited above provided by the OSHP provides more insight about the number of fatal accidents that have occurred in Ohio over the past five years, including who was involved (i.e. pedestrian vs. motorist), whether or not alcohol impairment was a factor, and whether or not safety precautions–such as the use of a helmet or seatbelt–were taken. Statistics from the most recent year for which data is available, 2016, provide the following information:

• Number of fatal crashes: 1,054
• Traffic fatalities that resulted: 1,133
• Motor vehicle fatalities: 947
• Unbelted fatalities: 431
• Non-motorist fatalities: 159
• Pedestrians killed: 140
• OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence)-related fatalities: 430
• Motorcycle fatalities: 200
• Helmeted deaths: 50
• Heavy-truck involved fatalities: 93

How do they work?
The airbags on all modern cars and trucks are housed behind panels marked SRS, which stands for Supplemental Restraint System (or Safety Restraint System). At a minimum, a vehicle will have an SRS enclosure in the steering wheel, and behind a panel on the passenger side of the front seat. Airbags are inflatable cushions built into a vehicle that protect occupants from hitting the vehicle interior or objects outside the vehicle (for example, other vehicles or trees) during a collision. The instant a crash begins, sensors start to measure impact severity. If the crash is severe enough, the sensors signal inflators to fill the bags with gas in a fraction of a second. The speed of a deploying airbag can reach up to 200 mph. Airbags are designed to offer the most protection when occupants are wearing safety belts and sitting properly in the seat. To determine the locations of airbags within a vehicle, look for the word “airbag” or “SRS” (supplemental restraint system) stamped into the plastic or stitched into the fabric in the vehicle interior.

  1. Things to Remember
    Always wear your lap and shoulder safety belts. Airbags are designed to supplement seat belts in an accident, not replace them. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, you are almost ten times more likely to die in an accident where an airbag deploys if you are not wearing a seat belt than if you are.
  2. Sit as far away as you can from the steering wheel or passenger side dashboard. According to NHTSA, distance from the airbag is the most important risk factor in airbag safety. NHTSA recommends allowing 10 to 12 inches between your chest and the airbag enclosure.
  3. Always try to keep an adjustable steering wheel tilted down in a level or parallel position.
  4. Hold the steering wheel at the 9 and 3 o’clock or 8 and 4 o’clock positions. This prevents your wrists or arms being broken or forcibly hitting you in the face when an airbag deploys.
  5. Position your thumbs on the top or outside rim of the steering wheel, not on the inside of the wheel.
  6. NEVER place children under the age of one in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side airbag.
  7. Place children 12 years old and younger in the back seat, and make sure they are properly buckled up or restrained in a child restraint device.
  8. Move the passenger side front seat back as far as possible if there is no alternative to having a child ride there in a vehicle with a passenger-side airbag.
  9. Make sure the child is properly buckled up. Take care that children are secured into an approved child passenger restraint system and that children under the age of 18 are buckled up. These are legal responsibilities of the driver.

Stay Protected: Replace Used Air Bags After a Crash
Airbags can only deploy once, so make sure you replace used airbags right away after a crash, only at an authorized repair center, and before you drive the vehicle again.

If you need quality collision repairs, call Central Collision at 419.841.2525 or stop by the shop Monday through Friday between 8 am to 5 pm, 7939 West Central Avenue, Toledo, OH 43617.