With the availability of airbags in a growing number of car models, countless lives and serious injuries have been prevented. Over the years, technological advances have improved the efficiency of airbags, but airbag failures have still occurred.
When a consumer buys a vehicle equipped with airbags, the driver and occupants expect the airbag to properly inflate if an auto accident occurs. There have been investigations involving vehicles that experienced airbag failure, resulting in possibly preventable deaths and injuries.
Some airbag failures and other deficiencies are discovered in crash tests performed before the vehicles are sold to the public, but sometimes crash tests are inadequate or defective airbags can prevent proper inflation. In attempts to cut corners and reduce costs, some car manufacturers over the years have been accused of knowing about airbag design flaws but failing to correct them.
In addition, crash tests passing certain airbags as adequate in protecting the public have been criticized over the years as holding too low of a standard, despite the majority of passengers dying when airbags deployed in low speed crashes.
A higher standard for airbags, and preventing airbag failure from occurring, means that simply offering airbags as an automatic protection for drivers and front seat occupants in frontal crashes is not enough. Every 12 minutes, someone is killed in a vehicle crash in the U.S., and the availability of airbags can help drastically reduce this number.
The leading cause of death and injury for Americans under the age of 35 is attributed to vehicle crashes, and the public, and the government, must demand more stringent requirements from car manufacturers. More pressure can lead to more safety design improvements so that airbag failure incidents can be reduced, while the inflation of airbags is more effective for a wider range of people in all types of collisions.