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When Driving With Kids, Remember these Airbag Safety Tips

Airbags can buffer the impact of a car accident, reducing injuries and saving lives. But for young children, they can pose a safety risk as well. When the force of an airbag hits a child, he or she can suffer serious injuries from a device that’s meant to keep us safe.

Why Airbags Are Dangerous

Airbags deploy at a speed of up to 200 mph. Young children can’t handle this kind of impact. As a precaution, all children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat in a car seat appropriate for their age and size. Older children can sit in the front seat, but move the seat as far back as it can go to reduce the risk of injury. And never put children with health conditions or injuries in the front seat.

The Impact of an Airbag

On a child’s body, the impact of an airbag can be fatal. Deploying airbags most commonly cause skull fractures and brain injuries in a child. Airbags aren’t meant to protect a child’s body; they are intended to protect an adult’s body. Accordingly, their force well exceeds that needed to protect a child. This begs the question of who is liable when a child dies because of an airbag impact.

Generally, you will find warning stickers in the car—typically on visor mirrors—cautioning against letting children ride in the front seat. Child safety car seats will have similar warnings. These warnings help you prevent injuries and also limit the company’s liability. Follow these warnings to stay safe. If you or your child were injured from a defective airbag, however, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim.

The Lesser of Two Evils

Front airbags protect occupants who are at risk of hitting the steering console, windshield, or dashboard. Children riding in the back seat don’t face the same risks, but they can still suffer impact in an accident. For this reason, put younger children use car seats, and make sure older children use seat belts properly. Children can also be injured by side-impact airbags; so check your car manual to find out where your airbags are.

If you were injured in an accident or from a defective airbag, speak with an experienced Arlington Heights car accident attorney about your right to compensation. An attorney can help you file a claim, so you recoup your losses.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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