McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Air Bag Safety

Air bags and seat belts save lives every day and here are a few things you should know to make sure they work properly. Their purpose is to cushion occupants during a crash and provide protection to their bodies when they strike interior objects such as the steering wheel or a window. Modern vehicles may contain multiple airbag modules in various side and frontal locations of the passenger seating positions; the airbag is designed to only inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes. 

Airbags are normally designed with the intention of supplementing the protection of an occupant who is correctly restrained with a seat belt. Be sure to use your shoulder and lap seat belt; air bags are not a substitute for seat belts. 

According to research conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, children exposed to air bags during a crash are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury.  Children younger than 13 years are safest when placed in the back seat of a vehicle, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Other air bag safety rules to follow include:
  • Never place an infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat with an air bag. In a crash, the air bag comes out of the dashboard with its force directed at the back of the infant's head if riding in the front passenger seat.
  • The rear seat is the safest place in the car for children younger than 13 years. If you don’t have enough room in the back of your car to safely transport the number of children who need to travel safely, please visit a car seat check in your area where a trained expert will help evaluate your situation. You may need to arrange to use a safer vehicle with enough back seat positions to keep all the kids safe.
  • All passengers ages 13 and older need to wear a lap and shoulder belt when riding in the front seat. Air bags are designed to work with the lap and shoulder belt to protect the occupant in the event of a crash.
  • To keep your older child (age 13 and older) safe in the front seat:
    • Move the front seat as far back as possible from the dashboard
    • Teach your child not to lean forward to change the radio dial or to insert CDs
    • Insist that your child sit upright against the seatback, with the seat belt snug at all times

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