Air bags are designed to save lives in the unfortunate event of a serious car accident. However, if passengers - especially children - are situated the wrong way, this safety device can turn into a deadly projectile. It is important to know these vital safety tips when operating a vehicle with driver and passenger air bags.
Always put children in the back seat!
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 2 to 14, according to AAA. Many of these auto accidents are fatal to children who are not properly situated in the vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children 12 years old and younger are safest in the back seat. Children in the front seat can be killed by an air bag, which expands from the dashboard at around 200 miles per hour. This kind of force can cause fatal head or neck injuries in small children. If a child MUST ride in the front seat with a passenger air bag, he or she should ride in an appropriate child safety seat or booster with the seat moved as far back as possible.
Buckle up, everyone!
The driver and all passengers should be properly buckled up and restrained while the vehicle is in motion. Seat belts are designed to hold the passenger in place as the air bag expands to fill the space between the passenger and the front of the vehicle in the event of a collision. If seat belts aren't buckled, the force of the air bag can cause severe injury to adults and children who are thrown toward the front of the vehicle during an accident.
Check the car seat!
If you have children in the car, check to make sure you are using the correct child safety seat for their height and weight , and that the safety seat is properly fastened in the back seat of the vehicle. Infants and children under the age of 1 should be safely restrained in the back seat, in a rear-facing car seat. Check the height and weight requirements on your car seat to determine the safest seating arrangement for your child. Rear-facing car seats should NEVER be placed in the front seat of a vehicle with passenger air bags.
Air bags are supposed to protect and cushion your face, head, and neck if you are ever in a serious car accident. However, you should always be properly situated in the vehicle to avoid injuries caused by powerful air bags. For more information on air bag safety and air bag injuries, you can talk to the experienced legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.