While vehicles equipped with air bags have proven to save lives in motor vehicle accidents and are considered effective, life saving technology, it is important to remember that, as with all safety devices, precautions must be taken. Information collected from manufacturers, industry periodicals and safety magazines was used to create the following recommendations.
- Follow these precautions if your vehicle is equipped with air bags:
Dealers, Manufacturers, and VEMA continue to support the installation of air bags and do not recommend disconnecting them. Air bags do work when the recommended seating precautions are followed.
Air bags are supplemental restraints and are designed to work in frontal crashes. Your seat belt provides protection in all kinds of crashes and should be worn at all times.
- Children 12 years old and younger should ride properly buckled up in a rear seat.
- Never place an infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in front of an air bag.
- Never allow children, or any passenger, to slide the shoulder belt behind them.
- Driver and front passenger seats should be moved back as far as practical to allow air bags room to deflate.
- Read the owners manuals for child safety seats to ensure they are properly installed.
These precautions are important, since fatalities may occur if they are not followed.
Manufacturers are currently notifying all registered owners, in order of serial number, on seating precautions as it pertains to their vehicles.
In 1998, vehicles sold in Canada by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Nissan will start to be equipped with less powerful Air bags. The action is in response to an urgent request to automobile manufacturers to make the devices safer. U.S. statistics indicate that only 65 percent of Americans use their seat belts while 92 percent of Canadians “buckle up”. However, air bag design specifications for vehicles sold in Canada are based on U.S. seat belt use.
For more information, please contact Sean Savage at VEMA, (204) 781-7092.