1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Auckland NZ

    Default No Seatbelt airbag fatalities

    We learn in our training that drivers and passengers in vehicles with airbags are at grave risk if they do not wear their seatbelts. I have been told of examples of people who have been killed as their forward moving bodies met rearward moving airbags and their necks were the weakest link. How big is this problem? Does anyone know where I can find specific examples or statistics about this danger? I know the generalities, what I would like are attributable examples I can quote.

    Jim Maclean
    Auckland New Zealand

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    SANDSTROMJM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Default No Seatbelt/Airbag Deaths

    Personal experience only, not a generalization.
    The only time, which I am aware of, that I was not wearing my seat belt, I was involved in a T-Bone Accident. I was front passenger in 1990 Hundai Sonata, travel direction east to west at approx. 45-50mph. A 1978 Monte Carlo blew a stop sign going south to north, impact point driverside rear door(Monte Carlo). Damage to Sonata $8500.00, front end demolished, both front AirBags deployed. My weight at the time 265lbs,Height 6'-1". Only injury was minor inhalation burn. No muscularskeletal injury.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

  3. #3
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    rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Plano, Texas



    Our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a branch of the US Govt Department of Transportation has these stats and many others online.

    Search out <www.nhtsa.dot.gov> for much more.

    Here's some examples;

    Every 14 seconds, someone in America is injured in a traffic crash.

    Every 12 minutes, someone is killed in a crash. Seat belts work. They are the most effective means of reducing fatalities and serious injuries when traffic crashes occur and are estimated to save 9,500 lives in America each year.

    Lap and shoulder belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.

    For light truck occupants, the effectiveness increases to 60 and 65 percent, respectively.

    Child safety seats, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 69 percent for infants (less than 1 year old) and by 47 percent for toddlers (1-4 years old).

    In 1996, there were 653 occupant fatalities among children under 5 years of age. Of those 653 fatalities, an estimated 338(52 percent) were totally unrestrained.

    From 1982 through 1996, an estimated 3,299 lives were saved by the use of child restraints (child safety seats or adult belts).

    In 1996, an estimated 365 children under age 5 were saved as a result of child restraint use.


    Importance Of Safety Belts

    Question: How can an air bag work so well for adults, but hurt children in the front passenger seat?

    Answer: An average size adult who is correctly belted is not likely to come in contact with the air bag until it is fully inflated. A fully inflated air bag spreads the forces of the crash across a wide area of the body. Even an unbelted adult will probably come in contact with the air bag at the chest area after the bag has at least partially inflated. For greatest protection, both the driver and front passengers should be buckled up and the seats moved back as far as practical to
    allow ample space for the air bag to expand.

    Unbelted or improperly belted children can easily slide off the seat during pre-crash braking, throwing them against the dashboard where the air bag can strike them on the head or neck with tremendous force before it is fully inflated.

    The air bag only inflates in front end crashes and collapses immediately. For protection in all types of collisions -- multiple, rollover, rear end, side and front end -- it is very important to always use both lap and shoulder belts.

    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Auckland NZ

    Default thank you both

    Thanks Sandstrom, real life examples are excellent and show yet again that the most probable outcome is not necessarily what will happen in every case. Thanks too to you Ron, the last link led me to exactly what I was looking for. I hope to convince Taxi drivers here that they and their passengers (who incorrectly believe that the law requiring everyone to buckle up in cars doesn't apply to them) are at extra risk in their airbag equiped cars without a seatbelt on.

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