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Air Bag Safety

A couple smiling and reviewing a piece of paper

Air bags save thousands of lives each year, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2017, air bags saved an estimated 2,790 lives. From 1987 to 2017, enough people were saved by air bags to fill a major league baseball park — over 50,000.

But air bags can also be dangerous. The chemicals and force that help an airbag deploy when activated can hurt children or adults who are sitting too close to the airbag. Sometimes there are minor burns sustained from the chemicals. In most cases, the air bags prevent more serious injuries than they cause. 

To prevent injuries from deploying air bags, all children under the age of 13 should be in the backseat, no matter what! All passengers should buckle up at all times, and children in car seats should always be in the back seat.

Turn the air bag off if needed, depending on who is sitting in the front seat. As of 1998, the NHTSA permitted the installation of air bag cut-off switches. You may see the light indicating the air bag is off in your newer model car. (One hint for teenagers in the front seat, if they don’t weigh enough to “turn on” the air bag, they should sit in the back.)

Remember: If your airbag is stolen or deploys in an accident, you must get a new one. This replacement coverage should fall under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy. Take air bag safety seriously, and make sure all of your passengers do too.