What kills more people, seatbelts or airbags?
#110345. Asked by great2beme. (Oct 30 09 4:52 PM)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that, as of September 1, 1998, air bags have saved 3,448 lives (2,954 drivers, 494 passengers) since they were first installed in quantity in the late 1980s. During the same period 115 people (66 of them children) have been killed by air bags, with another 40 unconfirmed deaths, for a total of 155. |
So we're talking 22 lives saved for every one lost. It's estimated that air bags reduce the risk of dying in a direct frontal collision by 30 percent.
But you may argue: I use seat belts, and I insist that everyone in my car use them. Why should I be required to risk air-bag injury just to protect the mopes that can't be bothered? The NHTSA's answer is that air bags and seat belts combined offer more crash protection than either device individually. Of the 3,448 people saved, 965 were wearing seat belts.
Most of the people killed by air bags fall into identifiable risk groups--kids in the front seat, for example. The NHTSA concedes that air bags make the front seat significantly more dangerous for those under 12. But if you're careful and put the kids in the back, etc., you can minimize the danger.
Further, Seat belts saved an estimated15,383 lives in 2006 and are effective in protecting occupants from being ejected from vehicles—one of the biggest contributors to severe injuries and death, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
In 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates air bags saved 2,796 lives. They are most effective in combination with seat belt use.
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