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Airbags Essay Research Paper AirbagsImagine yourself and

Airbags Essay, Research Paper


Imagine yourself and a friend on a road trip. All of the sudden a car pulls out in front of you. When you finally wake up, you notice that you were in a terrible accident. You see your friend lying inside the car. Your friend s neck has been broken by the impact of the airbag on the passenger side of the car. Airbags are thought to be a great safety feature on automobiles, but they have caused many injuries and deaths in all kinds of accidents. Even though air bags are designed to save lives, they can be harmful or fatal to some people. Airbags should be more safe, have an easy access to turn off airbags, or they should only be installed in the front of the automobiles.

Airbags can be found in most recently manufactured automobiles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (Insurance Institute) web page, Over 107 million (52%) of the over 207 million cars and light trucks on U.S. roads have driver airbags. Over 81 million (39.4%) of these also have passenger airbags. Another one million new vehicles with airbags are being sold each month. Many vehicles have airbags, and the statistics show that more people have been surviving frontal accidents with airbags.

Airbags in cars can function correctly if simple procedures are followed. Summarizing the Buckling Up And Getting Into The Correct Position web page, anyone who drives a car with an airbag has the option of taking them out, or should have a switch installed to turn off the airbag. If you leave the airbag on or installed, you must keep the steering wheel at least 10 inches away from you at all times, and have the airbag pointing at your chest, to prevent head and neck injury. If the wheel is less than 10 inches away from you, adjust the seat as far back as you can while reaching the pedals comfortably. Following these rules will lead to the best possible way to stay safe during an accident.

Airbags have saved more lives during accidents, but they also caused a small percentage of injury or death. Some of those were due to a very simple fender bender. Adults are more likely to survive collisions with an airbag than children are, because the airbag is extremely dangerous for all children. According to the Insurance Institute, Deaths are about 34 percent higher than expected among child passengers younger than 10. Children are too small to be hit by an airbag. The airbag inflates towards the same area every time. The difference in size results in children being hit in the face by airbags. For adults, the airbag inflates towards the chest then expands up to the head.

Children are not the only ones in risk of an injury from airbags. According to Insurance Institute, Since 1990, 170 deaths reportedly have been caused by airbags inflating in low severity crashes. These deaths include 63 drivers, plus many others with a majority of children. According to The Oracle, Turning off the airbags web page,

When an airbag deploys, there is an explosion in the dash and steering wheel that releases the airbags at a speed of 200 mph. This force has been found to be the cause of many deaths, mostly being children. And the explosion that propels the airbag can cause chemical burns and even blindness. The dangers of airbags are so great that car manufacturers now put warning labels in vehicles explaining the dangers.

With the technology we have today, we should be able to come up with a better safety feature than an airbag. If there is nothing to replace airbags, we should be able to change the settings of the airbags. An example would be being able to set the airbag so it would only inflate at a higher speed collision. Also according to the Oracle, Automobile manufacturers have the airbags sensors set on a 10-12 mph collision. Airbags fill up under 1/20 of a second, considering that the blink of an eye is 1/10 of a second. They inflate at an extremely high velocity, that speed makes the airbag dangerous. According to the Insurance Institute, In the USA Today, there was an article, Air Bag Tragedy Turns Father In To Crusader, and it stated that, an 18-year-old girl who { } lost the use of her arm because of an air bag. Granted a broken hand or arm in an accident is a minor injury, but the danger in that is one s hand or arm can come flying at one s face and could cause head injury. One really needs to be careful with the way the steering wheel is held to prevent this from happening.

There should be no more than 2 airbags per car. This will prevent injury to children. Children are too small to take the impact of an airbag. There has been some luxury vehicles coming out with six or eight airbags. In an accident, anyone who is in the car will be bouncing around like a ping pong ball. Automotive manufacturers suggest that young children should sit in the back of the automobile so they will not be injured by an airbag. In the new luxury cars there would be no safe places for children.

Due to the concern of deaths from airbags, automobile manufacturers have made a switch that can be installed in all automobiles to turn off the airbags. According to an online article on CNN, Government Announces Rules For Airbag Switches, it stated, If the owner of a vehicle or a passenger has a medical condition which would put them at a greater risk from airbags, then they can get permission to disable the airbags in their vehicle. This also applies if a child must ride in the front seat. People who have these problems can automatically have that switch installed. For anyone else who wants the switch installed, they must get permission from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. They will then approve of the addition and send a slip to the automobile owner s mechanic. If anyone dose not follow these procedures, they could be prosecuted for perjury.

Although passing the rule that allows the owner of a vehicle to disable the airbags is a good start in saving lives, it is not enough. Everyone should be able to have switches installed in their vehicles; not just people who meet the requirements set by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. The government shouldn t have to decide whether or not anyone is able to disable his or her airbags. There should be no laws on airbags, it would be more practical for the driver of the automobile to make their own decision on whether or not the airbag should be on or off. If the law was passed, it would require all automobile manufacturers to put the switch on all vehicles equipped with airbags. The government won t do this because it has the attitude that it has to protect everyone from themselves. They must protect everyone, even if it is one s choice to be safe or not, they are making the decision and taking away the rights of the common American.

Before you go on your next road trip, make sure that you and your friends or family member/s are in the proper places in the vehicle. If you are an owner of an automobile with an airbag make sure you re at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. If there are any young children in the vehicle make sure they sit in the back, out of the way of any airbags. Before purchasing a luxury car, ask yourself the question; can a child sit safely in the vehicle with eight airbags? If you can put a switch in your vehicle, it is strongly recommended. Airbags are a good safety feature in automobiles, but only if they are properly used.

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