|Tagged in: Untagged||Jul 31, 2012|
|Posted by: ari|
Airbags were first placed in automobiles in order to protect the driver from impacts and flying debris. The technology is effective in an accident and has resulted in the development of passenger side airbags as well as side-impact airbags. The safety device that was once designed to protect and adult driver started to present problems for families with small children. The force of the impact from an airbag was not calibrated to account for children and infants who might be in the front seat. This has resulted in a number of suggestions from a variety of organizations that provide drivers with some guidance about how to keep children safe in cars with airbags.
Children who are 12 years old or younger should ride in the back seat of a vehicle. This is a recommendation for anyone who is driving with children. This advice is especially important for infants and children who must use car seats. Placing a rear-facing car seat in the passenger side of a car can result in a situation where an airbag deploys and then forces the seat and the child backwards potentially causing more damage than the accident itself.
Children who are in the back seat and who are properly buckled into place will not have to deal with the hard surface of an airbag that expands at over 200 miles per hour. Additionally, children have a more resilient bone structure than older adults and will likely suffer fewer injuries even when only restrained by a seatbelt in the rear of the car.
Any child who must ride in the front seat of a car needs to be positioned as carefully as possible. Front and side airbags can both present problems. A child in a car seat should be on top of a properly sized booster. The car seat should be facing forward and needs to be pushed as far back as possible. The lap and shoulder belts must be attached to the seat and angled properly across the child. This creates a safe situation where the location of the child in relation to the airbags will prevent the bags from directly hitting the face or neck during deployment.
One final option for some cars is to turn the airbags off completely. This course of action should only be used if the child riding in the front seat has some type of serious medical issue that could result in death or critical injury if an airbag deploys and hits the child. Airbags are a lifesaving safety feature for adults and are very effective. Turning off an airbag system reduces the overall safety of the vehicle and should only be done when there are no other options available.