It is all too common to see someone not wearing their seat belt as they believe that the airbag will "save" them in the event of a car crash. This is so off base as airbags were designed to be used in conjunction with a seat belt to significantly reduce the chance of serious injuries by placing a barrier between you and the surfaces of the car that often cause injury.
NHTSA estimates that seat belts and frontal airbags used together reduces the risk of death in a head-on collision by 11 percent over just by using a seat belt alone.
When improperly used, an airbag can inflict injuries such as broken bones, burns, abrasions, and even death. However, the benefit of airbags outweigh the risk of possible injury. With this in mind, there are some precautions you can take to avoid injury to yourself or passengers from a deployed airbag.
First and foremost, the driver and all passengers should be properly restrained by use of the lap and shoulder belt and/or child restraint system based on the child’s size and age.
Shorter drivers are prone to more airbag injuries to their arms, chest, and head because in most cases there is simply not enough space to allow the airbag to deploy without striking the body. It is recommended that you position your seat so that your chest is at least 10 inches from the center of the steering wheel. If you cannot adjust your seat that far back and be able to safely control the vehicle, you may want to consider installing pedal extenders.
Children under the age of 12 years should always ride in the rear seat of the car. An infant in a rear facing seat should never ride in the front seat. Frontal airbags deploy with such force that a small child can be seriously injured or even killed if in the front seat.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case to assist you with getting the compensation you are entitled to recover your medical expenses and loss of wages.