Most tragedies involving air bags could be prevented if air bags are used in combination with a safety belt and if children under 12 are properly restrained in the rear seat.

Air bags only provide supplemental crash protection in frontal crashes.

Air bags have a good safety record and are credited with saving more than 3,700 lives.

Drivers should sit as far as possible from the steering wheel to give the air bag room to deploy and dissipate its energy. Ten to twelve inches between the chest and air bag module is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Should air bags be deactivated? No, not unless you meet the following criteria.

  • The driver cannot sit 10 to 12 inches from the steering wheel and air bag module, and drive the car safely.
  • The driver and/or passenger has one of several medical conditions.
  • The driver must transport children under 12 in the front seat because the car has no back seat or because of a car pool situation.

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