An airbag is a type of vehicle safety device and is a supplemental restraint system (SRS) or supplementary inflatable restraint (SIR). The word “supplementary” means that the airbag is designed to provide to help the seat belts protect occupants rather than replace them. Relying on an airbag for protection without fastening seat belt is extremely dangerous. Additionally, airbag provides a soft cushioning and restraint during a crash event to prevent or reduce any impact or impact-caused injuries between the flailing occupant and the interior of the vehicle.
The airbag is made of a thin, nylon fabric, which is folded into the steering wheel or dashboard or, more recently, the seat or door. In the event of a crash, airbags inflate extremely rapidly then quickly deflate during a collision or impact with a surface or a rapid sudden deceleration. This is important; if the airbag did not deflate, our head would just bounce back off the airbag and we’d be no better off.
A meta-analysis has been conducted on the effectiveness of frontal airbags in reducing driver fatalities have been investigated by Høye in 2010. The study found that belted driver fatalities were reduced by about 22% when all types of airbags are regarded together in frontal collisions. Airbags are neither effective nor counterproductive for unbelted drivers and may increase fatality risk in single-vehicle accidents.
Apart from frontal airbags, there are several other types of airbags, such as the side airbag, knee, curtain and seatbelt airbag.
The existence of airbags which are designed for adult occupants might cause a problem in installing your child restraint system. For example, a vehicle with a side airbag that comes out from the vehicle seat might not allow installation of the child restraint system in that location. The same goes for frontal airbags that cannot be switched off.
⚠️ Always check your vehicle owner’s manual first to ensure that there will be no problem before you install your child restraint ⚠️
Høye, A. (2010, July 22). Are airbags a dangerous safety measure? A meta-analysis of the effects of frontal airbags on driver fatalities. Retrieved September 8, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20728659.