An Overview of Airbags

An Overview of Airbags

While the news about airbags in vehicles is exceedingly positive, airbags have been and remain a controversial safety feature in your vehicle. Some of this is due to the danger airbags present to small or young passengers. Some of this comes from a massive recall that involved millions of cars. But let’s see if we can unravel some of the information and give you Colorado Accident and Injuries take on this important subject.




The first consideration for our opinion on vehicular airbags is simple and comes directly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Along with us, the most important figure in airbag discussions is this: “From 1987 to 2017, frontal airbags saved 50,457 lives.” And for emphasis, the NHTSA says, “That’s enough people to fill a major league ballpark.


Well, maybe this means if an event at your region’s major league ballpark is sold out you can blame airbags. Frankly, that’s OK with us, especially when you look further and find this sentence: “Airbags reduce the risk of death by 9 percent to 16 percent among drivers using a seat belt, and by as much as 20 percent among drivers not wearing a seat belt.” (While we’re at it: We still emphatically and passionately recommend any driver or passenger in a car, front seat and back, should wear their seat belts as instructed.)


Airbags (and seat belts) are, of course, mandatory for any new car sold in America. The odds that your car doesn’t have airbags installed gets larger every year, as only cars built before the airbag requirement can be driven without airbags. Furthermore, a very important word of caution: If you are buying a used car make the airbag a highly prioritized point to clear up because some cars do not have airbags if the car has been in a crash in which the factory-installed airbags were deployed and the car’s owner has not installed a new airbag. Here’s the obvious warning: We recommend you do not buy a used car unless it has properly calibrated, certified, and correctly installed airbags. 


Certainly, you may believe that 50,457 lives saved over 30 years does not sound like a lot. The answer to that is twofold: First, if you were one of those 50,457 people this is a slam dunk. You would be singing the praises of airbags on a daily basis. Secondly, the data gets murkier when you talk about head trauma incidents and other injuries prevented by airbags, but the NHTSA says the number of injuries prevented is quantum leaps higher than 50,457 – it just gets harder to come up with a solid number there.


Air Bag Injuries and Recalls


Two very serious airbag topics include the possibility of an airbag injuring someone, since it deploys so quickly and the matter of recalls. Certainly, these topics stir up suspicion about airbags, which are, after all, an expensive item to install in a car and expensive to replace if they are deployed. One on-line search found estimates of airbag replacement range from $400 to $1,000 for parts and up to $6,000 once labor is figured in. If this is the cost of saving your life, it is money well spent.


Recalls also give airbags a bad reputation especially so when the most recent Takata airbag recall involved airbags installed in “tens of millions of cars,” notes the NHTSA. That’s a huge recall by anyone’s standards,


Again, Colorado Accident and Injuries sides with the airbags in any situation that will save a life, prevent a traumatic head injury, or, reduce your adds of injury at all. Call us biased. We’ll gladly defend our position here.


If you are in an accident, remember, the first phone call should be to the police and the second should be to us. Even if you feel you were not injured, you must get checked out at a clinic that specializes in injury diagnosis and documentation, bearing in mind there is a significant list of medical conditions that are not always noticeable right away.


Looking for a post-accident specialist. Call Colorado Accident & Injury at 719-917-1000.

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