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Airbags and Motor Vehicle Accidents

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Car Accidents

Airbag AccidentEvery year new safety innovations are made for vehicles that save lives in the event of an accident. One major change to what comes standard in cars, in the past two decades, is the inclusion of airbags. Some vehicles have several airbags in every model, which deploy from various angles in the car, providing safety from doors and steering wheels alike. While airbags do save lives in accidents, there are several safety concerns regarding airbags of which drivers need to be aware. One major issue is the effect that a deployed airbag can have on a child passenger.

The National Safety Council found that in 1998, airbags deployed in the case of an accident save more than 1,040 lives, reports DMV.org. Yet in that same year, nearly 100 kids were killed by the same airbags.

“The first rule for safe vehicle airbags is that frontal systems are not designed for youngsters,” reports DMV.org. This is why most states have enacted laws that require for children’s seats to be placed in the backseat. Infants and babies should ride facing backward in the child seat, while small children should be placed facing forward to avoid severe injury in the case of an accident. A young child should only wear the seatbelt across his or her waist—the shoulder strap can cause injury in the case of impact.

According to News-Medical.net, airbags may actually be less safe than consumers think. A recent University of Georgia study found that airbags “are actually associated with slightly increased probability of death in accidents,” reports News-Medical.net. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2004 more than 10,000 people had been saved because of airbags that were deployed in accidents in which the passengers would otherwise have died. Yet the NHTSA also reported that between 1990 and 2002 there were nearly 240 deaths due to airbags—all of which occurred at very low speeds. The University of Georgia study posits that more deaths are due to airbags in high-speed crashes, but that these deaths get attributed to the accident instead of the airbag.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in which you suspect that airbags could have been the cause, the most important step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact an Illinois accident lawyer today.

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