Air Bag Safety For The Prevention Of Injury And D

934 words - 4 pages

According to statistics, motor vehicle accidents are the number one leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, making up close to 45% and more than quadrupling all other causes. Although these statistics can be overwhelming knowing that driving a motor vehicle on a daily basis comes with a lot of risk, an individuals chance of injury can be lowered by following basic rules of safety. The American Trauma Society believes that the injury rate could be reduced by 50% if people would simply apply existing information about prevention. Wearing a seat belt while riding in a motor vehicle is by far the easiest way to prevent injury and death, and should be done anyhow because it is a federal law to do so. In addition to seat belts, motor vehicles are equipped with air bags, an automatic form of protection designed to reduce the risk of injury. In the past decade, air bags have saved the lives of close to 3,000 people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study of real-world motor vehicle crashes and were able to conclude that the combination of seat belts and air bags is 75% effective in preventing serious head injuries and 66% effective in preventing serious chest injuries. Unfortunately for about 100 people in the past decade, their lives were saved at the expense of suffering a less severe injury caused by the air bag itself. However, when proper air bag safety is applied in conjunction of wearing a seat belt properly, most injuries and deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes are minimized or even prevented all together.Air bags are designed specifically to cushion occupants as they move forward in a front-end crash, keeping the head, neck, and chest from hitting the steering wheel or dashboard. In order to perform well, air bags deploy quickly and forcefully, with the greatest force in the first 2-3 inches after releasing through the cover and beginning to inflate. Therefore, occupants who are positioned too close to the air bag at the time it deploys put themselves at risk to suffer serious injury or death. The one fact that is common to all who have died due to an air bag induced injury is NOT their height, weight, sex, or age, but rather the fact that they were too close to the air bag when it started to deploy. In the circumstances of those who have died, almost all of them were improperly restrained or positioned, or even unrestrained. A few had medical conditions that caused them to slump over the steering wheel immediately before the crash, making their bodies positioned too close to the air bag, while some were sitting too close to the steering wheel to...

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