Auto Insights: The ABCs of Air Bag Safety

By | April 25, 2014

Personal Home & Auto InsuranceAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an airbag propels out of a dashboard at 200 miles per hour – faster than the blink of an eye. Though they are designed to absorb the impact of a crash for adult motor vehicle passengers and drivers, children can suffer major injuries from an air bag.

 

Air Bag Safety Recommendations

To keep children injury-free while riding in your car, consider these safety recommendations:

  • Place small infants in rear-facing child safety seats in the backseat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies properly buckled in a rear-facing car seat in the back of a vehicle are just as safe as if they were placed in a crib to sleep.
  • Place toddlers over 1 year old and at least 20 pounds in forward-facing convertible safety seats in the backseat of the vehicle. Since these seats would situate the child several inches closer to the dashboard, they pose a risk for air bag injuries if they are placed in the front seat. Therefore, they must be placed in the backseat only.
    • Place children who have outgrown convertible safety seats but do not fit correctly with a lap/shoulder seat belt in a car booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
    • Children under age 12 should ride in the backseat of the vehicle with a seat belt securely fastened.

     

    If you must ABSOLUTELY seat children under age 12 in the front seat, conduct the following safety precautions to reduce their risk of injury:

    • Restrain children in a safety seat appropriate for their age.
    • Push the seat all the way back to provide as much distance between the dashboard and the seat as possible.
    • Require that children sit with their backs firmly pressed against the seat. Do not allow them to wiggle or lean forward.
    • Tighten the seat belt as much as possible to reduce their movement in the event of a crash.

     

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