Defective Seat Belts and Defective Airbags

Airbags and seatbelts were invented so that the occupant would be protected in the event of an accident. When they work, they should prevent injuries and should save lives. When they fail, they can make a bad situation “worse.”

How a seatbelt holds a person in place often determines whether the seatbelt is a lifesaver or not. The angles (or geometry) of a seat belt system can mean life, serious injury, or death. In addition, automatic seat belts, for example, can cause an angle that cuts across the neck in a crash. Such restraints often cause people to forget the manual lap belt. They need a reminder in the form of a bell or light. Lap-only belts in the back seat can pose a danger for passengers riding in the back seat. Three-point seat belt systems that meet the needs of passengers of varying sizes are safest. When airbags work properly, they can prevent injuries and save lives. However, when an airbag is too quick on the trigger, a minor accident can cause serious injuries. When the airbag fails to respond in a crash, people in the car do not have the protection they counted on. An airbag causes a forceful explosion. People sitting too close to the airbag can suffer serious injuries. (Small women are the most frequent victims because of their need to sit closer to the steering wheel.) What are the solutions for airbag problems? Better sensors and clearer warnings.
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