6 Airbag Safety Rules that You Definitely Need to Know

The advancement of car technology has made us a lot safer than we were in the past century. Cars now come with a lot of safety features that can save us in case of accidents that can otherwise be fatal. Airbag is one great innovation that ensures our safety on the road. Each year, they save millions of lives world over. This is why they come as standard features in most cars now.

However, while on the one hand, they are a life saver, on the other they can be a real danger, if not used properly. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind regarding this safety device, so as to make them work in your favor. Else, it can, in fact, jeopardize your life.

So, here are a few things that you must understand.

Understand THIS about an Airbag

When it comes to understanding this device technically, you must understand the function that it performs. They are not total protection, but a supplement safety device instead. The very word “supplemental” means that it functions in tandem with other safety devices in the car. Without those other devices, they may very well cause harm when they unfurl in case of an accident. This is why you need to take certain safety precautions to prevent any sort of harm or injury thereby.

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Airbag Safety Rules that You Definitely Need to Know

Having understood why you must take certain preemptive measures, here are 6 rules that you must follow by all means:

1. Always Use Seat Belt without Exception

Airbag safety ideas
Fastening car seat belt and airbag safety (photo source: Shutterstock)

During each trip, whether long or short, even if a few meters long, wear the seat belt. This applies to the driver as well as the passengers. Buckling up is important because you don’t want the force of the accident to throw you into the rapidly inflating airbag. If that happens, you could face some serious injury. To be honest, whether or not you have the airbag feature in your car, always follow this safety driving advice.

2. Follow the Minimum Distance Rule

Experts recommend that adults sit at a minimum distance of 10 inches from the steering wheel (between the center of the wheel and the chest). It is the same for 12 years or older children.

One way to ensure this distance is to push your seat as further back as possible while your feet reach the pedals, comfortably. Also, make sure that you can reach the steering wheel with straight arms without bending or stretching.

3. Don’t Keep the Back of the Seat Totally Upright

Do not drive with the back of the seat totally upright to further yourself from the steering wheel. Recline a little to ensure that you are at a safe distance from the airbags. If that makes it difficult for you to see the road, place a comfortable and non-slip cushion on the seat. This way you will be able to recline the back and raise your height.

4. Seat Children under 12 in the Rear Seats (in Car Seats and Boosters)

Kids Airbag safety
Airbag safety tips when driving with babies (photo source: Maxi-Cosi AxissFix)

The impact of an extremely rapidly inflating airbag can be brutal on children if they are seated on the front seat. Children younger than 12 years must be seated in the rear seats, carefully secured in car seats or boosters as the law of the land prescribes. You must, in fact, always follow all safety tips when driving with children.

5. Adjust the Steering Wheel If there is a Feature

If you have a telescopic steering wheel in your car, it always a plus point. This feature allows you to tilt the wheel up or down. If you are driving, tilting it downwards can be a great trick to bring the airbag to the level of your chest. Otherwise, it is the face that the airbag aims. Doing so, will help you escape any injury on face or neck due to the deployed airbag.

6. Make Sure You Learn about the Safety Features when You Buy a Car

Most new cars come with this safety feature. At the time of purchasing a car, make sure that you go an extra mile to learn about all its safety features including this one. Even if you are not buying a brand new car, there is a wide variety of old cars with airbags that have been on the market for years. Do ask the previous owner for the current state of the car’s safety features. And, don’t forget to read the owner’s manual.

Some Facts About Airbag Safety

Side Airbag safety
Airbag safety and their uses (photo source: Autotrader)
  • Some vehicles offer an on-off switch that can control the airbag function. However, you have to be physically eligible for it. Such provision stands for those drivers who are (due to physical factors) unable to keep the requisite 10 inch distance. Certain other medical conditions are also considered before this switch is allowed to function.
  • Side airbags are also available now in a lot of newer car models. Certain older ones also feature them. These may turn out to be effective in case the collision involves impact on the sides.
  • Adaptive front airbag systems are also an option. These are not featured in all the new cars but some do feature these. This system adjusts the pressure of inflation in a gradual manner thus reducing the risk of injury due to airbags.

If you follow these rules, an airbag can protect you to their best without causing potential injury.