I've been trying to gather some pros and cons on this issue: "e;Do airbags cause more harm than good in a frontal collision?"e; So all you out there with case studies, opinions, and facts please contribute, I'm really curious.
Here's what I can see so far;
- Airbags deploy. The airbag itself and the smoke obscure the vision of the driver, who might still need to be able to see and control the car to a stop after impact.
- A very slight chance of death from the explosive nature of the airbag, though usually the case is the driver was sitting too close to the steering wheel.
- The traditional answer, "e;The air bag prevents your face from hitting the steering wheel!"e; I just went to Progressive Insurance's website and looked at some 40 mph impact videos: http://www.progressive.com/RC/VSafe...videos.asp
In every case, the dummy's face hit the airbag. But also in every case, it seems like there was a ton of slack in the seat belt! Isn't there supposed to be a tensioner that prevents that?
I heard that in a frontal collision, if you are maintaining a proper distance from the steering wheel, you're not supposed to even come in contact with the airbag. Then what is the darn thing there for?
I've been in a 25 mph frontal collision. The car did not have airbags. My face did not hit the steering wheel. The seat belt tensioners held on really well (even in a 15-year-old car).
But I will accept the argument that had the impact been 50 mph, the forces would have been so great that I really would have hit my face - but I think I might have broken my neck too because it was definitely sore from "e;just"e; a 25 mph impact.