Modes of Transportation – In an Automobile

Airbags: An Essential Protection

Airbags could save your life and reduce the risk of serious injuries in the event of a collision. Because airbags inflate extremely quickly, you should observe some basic safety rules.

Airbags are proven safety devices

Airbags provide particularly effective protection against severe or deadly impacts to the head or chest.

In the event of a collision, airbags inflate to prevent drivers and passengers from hitting their heads against the steering wheel, dashboard, side windows or door frames.

A few statistics

Combined use of airbags and seat belts:

  • reduces the risk of serious head injuries by 75%
  • reduces the risk of serious chest injuries by 66%

Safety rules for front airbags

Driving position: maintain a space of more than 25 cm between the airbag and the middle of your sternum

If your driving position leaves you with less than 25 cm between the centre of the steering wheel and the centre of your sternum, you should:

  • move your seat back as far as possible while still being able to easily reach the pedals and hold the steering wheel
  • recline the seat slightly
  • tilt the steering wheel down, if possible, in order to aim the airbag towards your chest rather than towards your head or neck

Because airbags deploy extremely quickly, they could cause:

  • surface burns
  • minor cuts and scrapes
  • contusions (bruising)

These types of injuries are less serious than a skull fracture or brain or chest injuries.

Don't get too close to an airbag: that's the basic rule

If the safety rules are not observed, the airbags could cause serious injuries when they deploy.

These injuries are generally due to an occupant being too close to an airbag when it starts to deploy, regardless of the occupant's height or weight.

Airbags: protect your children!

Never place a baby in an infant seat on the front passenger seat if the vehicle is equipped with a passenger-side airbag, except if the airbag has been deactivated and the infant seat has been installed in compliance with the manufacturer's instructions.

It is recommended that children aged 12 and younger be seated on the rear seat of the vehicle.

Side airbags and inflatable curtains

If your car is equipped with side airbags or curtains, child safety seats should not be placed in their deployment zone. This would be the case if the child leans against the door to sleep.

Side airbags can be mounted:

  • in doors (front and rear)
  • in seat backrests and the roof rail