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Do air bags protect drivers as much as they could?

By dcuff
Saturday, May 15th, 2010 at 12:34 pm in Uncategorized.

New research is raising questions whether American car drivers who wear seat belts are getting  as much protection as they could from standards for front air bags.

Click here to read New York Times story about the research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the resulting safety debate.

The new research suggests that the latest standards for designing air bags may be doing more to protect drivers not wearing seat belts than drivers wearing them.  The story also explores the notion of revisiting  the 1970 federal ban on interlock devices that prevent a motorist from starting his car without his seat belt on.  That’s a politically delicate issue. Some people see interlock devices linked to seat belts as intrusive.

Wearing seat belts, however, is a more accepted by the public than in 1970, when only 15 percent of drivers wore seat belts. The rate is up to 80 percent now.  Adults and children are required to wear seat belts in 49 states. (New Hampshire requires seat belts on youths, but not adults).

Share your thoughts below on the best way to protect us on the road.



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