Think You’re Safer? Maybe. Maybe Not…

Often when sifting through the press materials of a new car there’s talk about fancy new airbags that protect better than ever. Is that so? New York Times writer Jo Craven McGinty reports about new research that throws some doubt on those claims.

The research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that when compared with the airbags they replaced, the newer air bags that were required in 2008 vehicles, might place seat belted drivers at greater risk of death.  Some of these bags were  installed in cars as early as 2004.

About 80 percent of all drivers wear seat belts, but government standards for air bags are intended to maximize protection for unbelted drivers. The finding has surprised carmakers, which were required to install the smart bags because it was thought that the older versions were injuring shorter and older drivers and passengers. Carmakers and government regulators, are now trying to figure out if there’s cause for concern.

To read the NYT article, click here.

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