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This Is A Term Paper On "Are Air Bags Safe For Cars?" My Paragraphs Are Unified, Developed, And Coherent. I Have Not Used Direct Quotations Excessively

1670 words - 7 pages

Are Air Bags Safe for Cars?Air bags are designed for frontal-angle crashes, the kind of impact that accounts for more than half of all occupant fatalities in passenger vehicles. Air bags are made to distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body, stopping the occupants more gradually (Air Bag Safety 1). Even though air bags contribute and benefit to save human lives during car collisions, the question of how safe they really are is disputed worldwide. Air bags only supplement safety belts; they do not replace them (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration 1).In America it is estimated that air bags have inflated in over one million crashes, saved ...view middle of the document...

Threshold level will be higher. The air bag is not designed to inflate in minor frontal collisions or rollovers, side impact or rear impacts (Air Bag Safety 3). In any particular crash, no one can say whether an air bag should have inflated simply because of the damage to the vehicle or according to the amount of repair costs. Inflation is determined by the angle of the impact and how quickly the vehicle stops or decelerates in frontal and frontal-angle impacts.In moderate to severe frontal and frontal-angle collisions, even belted occupants can contact the steering wheel or the instrument panel. Air bags supplement the protection provided by safety belts. Air bags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body, stopping the occupant more gradually. Air bags are not designed to deploy in many types of collision, including rollovers, rear impacts and side impacts, where the air bag is not helpful primarily because the occupant's motion is not toward the steering wheel or instrument panel. Airbags should never be regarded as anything more than a supplement to safety belts, and only in frontal and front-angle collisions (Strack 2).After an air bag inflates, it quickly deflates, so quickly that some drivers may not even realize that the air bag has deployed. Some components in the air bag module in the steering wheel hub for the driver's air bag and the instrument panel for the right front passenger's air bag will be hot for a short time. The parts of the bag that come into contact with the driver may be warm, but not too hot to touch. There may be some dust particles visible after air bag inflation. This is normal and usually the talc or cornstarch used to help the bag deploy more quickly. Air bag inflation does not prevent the driver from seeing or from being able to steer the vehicle, nor does it stop people from exiting the vehicle (McGinn 40). In many crashes that are severe enough to inflate an air bag, windshields are sometimes broken because the vehicle itself deforms (Strack 2). Additional windshield breakage may also occur from the right-front passenger side air bag. Air bags are designed to inflate only once, and after they do inflate, it is a necessity that they be replaced (McGinn 40).Newsweek Magazine in its October 20th, 1997, issue had an extensive article about auto safety and air bags. It discussed the damages of both using and not using air bags. The gist of this article is that no matter what occurs a driver can get injured in a car with or without a seat belt and with or without an air bag. The article goes on to explain the tragedy of two families who are now suing automakers for negligence. Yet the article is not long enough on the facts to help the reader fully understand the points involved (McGinn 40).New rules for vehicle air bags that include a crash-test standard of 25-mph, favored by automakers and opposed by consumer groups, were released by the Transportation Department. The department's...

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