As Colorado personal injury attorneys, we regularly witness the sad aftermaths of car crashes ― which is why we value advancements in vehicle safety. Since airbags reached mainstream adoption in the late 1980s, they’ve saved tens of thousands of lives. Still, myths persist about this valuable safety device:
Myth #1: If you have airbags, you don’t need to wear a seatbelt.
Airbags are supplemental safety devices designed to function with seatbelts. The seatbelts keep you and your passengers inside the vehicle and properly positioned so that the airbags can keep your body from hitting the steering wheel, windshield, and other objects. In fact, if you’re not wearing your seatbelt you run a higher risk of injury from the airbag itself, which is explosively deployed in less than 1/20th of a second (less than the blink of an eye).
Myth #2: It’s safe for kids to ride in the front seat as long as you have airbags.
Children can be severely injured by front airbags ― especially if they are in rear-facing child seats. The National Highway Transportation Safety Association recommends that, if children must ride in the front seat, the seat should be moved as far back as possible. And rear-facing child seats should never be used in the front seat, especially if a passenger-side airbag is active.
Myth #3: If you’re injured by an airbag in your car, it’s not the fault of the person who caused the accident.
This is a popular, self-serving myth among insurance companies who don’t want to pay your claim. Yes, airbags can cause abrasions, skin and eye irritation ― and occasionally more severe injuries, particularly among children, small-stature adults and the elderly. However, the fact is that the injuries wouldn’t have happened if the at-fault driver hadn’t caused the accident. Airbags are approved safety devices. If they somehow malfunctioned, let the other driver sue the manufacturer ― after they’re finished compensating you.
If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney to explore your rights to fair compensation.