When you fail to keep fully functional airbags in your vehicle, you greatly increase your chances of having your head or entire body shoot through a broken windshield. Furthermore, drivers without airbags are also more likely to suffer broken bones, whiplash injuries, dangerous cuts and bruises, and head trauma.
Always be sure when buying a new vehicle to request side airbags since paying a little extra for these can increase your chances of surviving your next accident.
Here’s a bit more information about the usefulness of airbags, why we must all quickly respond to airbag (and other vehicle) recall notices, and why you must inquire about all airbags provided in any car you currently own — or plan to buy.
What Statistics Tell Us About the Different Types of Airbags
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that frontal airbags can significantly decrease driver deaths in frontal collisions by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers (at least 13 years old) by about 32 percent. Likewise, side airbags specifically designed to protect the head can lower a driver’s chance of dying (in a driver’s side accident) by 37 percent – and an SUV driver’s chance of being killed by 52 percent.
In addition, when you add rear-window curtain airbags, you also provide further safety for all back seat passengers during an accident. Front-center airbags can also lower your chances of hitting other passengers during a crash — and inflatable safety belts can better protect everyone during certain types of collisions.
Is Your Vehicle Safe – Or Do You Need to Respond to a Current Recall?
According to a June 2016 article written by consumer reporter Amy Davis, over 1.1 million Houston cars are currently under one vehicle recall or another. This means we must each periodically check to see if our vehicles (or any of their parts) are currently being recalled. You can easily save your own life and that of your passengers if you’ll conduct this type of check every month or two. Of course, you should also immediately read all mail that comes to you from your car manufacturer, seller or dealer since a recall notice may be included.
If you don’t own a computer, ask your local librarian to help you make this type of quick Internet search. To run this inquiry, you’ll need to know your vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number), make, model and year. Your car mechanic can show you where your VIN is typically displayed on your front windshield.
Protect Yourself When Purchasing a Used Car
Always insist on being provided with the Carfax information for any vehicle’s past collisions. This report can tell you about most previous accidents that might make your purchase unwise. Also, keep in mind that simply purchasing new, fully authorized airbags can prove very expensive – even as high as several thousand dollars. However, no one should ever take the chance of first learning that their airbags (or other car parts) are defective until a serious accident unfolds.
Finally, keep up with the news and learn all you can about each new airbag recall since it may easily affect another driver in your family if it doesn’t affect you. Should you own a smartphone, consider downloading the newest My Carfax app so you can more easily stay current with this information. You can also visit the federal government’s VIN recall look-up page by visiting the Safercar website.