Airbags have become commonplace safety features for vehicles on the roadway. Since their introduction in 1973 by General Motors, automakers worldwide have continued this air cushioning technology to protect drivers. However, new statistics have revealed that airbags may not be as great as originally thought.
Women are more at risk for injury
When it comes to assessing injuries from vehicle accidents, trauma centers reported that female drivers were more likely to sustain fractures in their upper extremities when airbags were involved. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Cervical spine injuries
- Eye injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Hearing loss
- Wrist injuries
How to protect your family
While there are many factors at play in determining whether or not an individual will get injured by the airbag in their vehicle, there are effective strategies to mitigate the risks. First and foremost is wearing a seat belt. Between the years 1990 and 2008, 80% of airbag-related deaths happened when the victim wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
It’s also important not to sit too far forward in your seat. Maintain at least 10 inches between your chest and the steering wheel to help prevent airbag injuries if it is deployed.
When it comes to children, you want to keep them protected by doing a few different things. First, children should always ride in the back seat of the vehicle. Make sure children that require a car seat have the correct size and orientation for their weight and height. Lastly, children should always be secured properly in their seats while the vehicle is moving.
While promoted as a safety device for 21st-century vehicles, an airbag can cause serious injuries and even death. Practicing the above safety tips can help minimize your risk of an airbag-related injury.