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Air Bags - Assets Or Assault

Essay by   •  March 4, 2011  •  790 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,097 Views

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Airbags inflate in a fraction of a second after a high to moderate collision occurs. Airbags are meant to offer a support and cushion to the head when a crash takes place. The second that a crash begins. The sensor tells the bag to inflate. Inflation happens when there is a collision force 16 to 24 km per hour. The sensors receive information from an accelerometer which is a device that measures acceleration in the car it is built into a microchip. After that, if the severity is high enough, the airbag would deploy, with the use of a harmless chemical. The combination of sodium azide (NaN3) with potassium nitrate (KNO3) produces nitrogen gas. The hot blasts of the nitrogen inflate the air bag. It is true that airbags were created in the intention to offer a protection in a collision, but as a result of its creation, many have died.

Airbags are made to save lives and prevent a large impact during a collision. By now, almost everyone knows that car air bags can cause injury or even death, as well as it could offer protection. Some people feel that air bags are not worth the risk and would like to shut them off, or at least have the option to do so. An on-off switch can be installed, but it needs the permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and costs several hundred dollars. Making it almost impossible for average people to make that decision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 10,789 people are alive today because of airbags. With the combination of an airbag plus seat belt, the risk of serious head injury reduces by 85 percent compared with a 60 percent reduction for belts alone. In the other hand, since 1990, 229 deaths have been caused by airbags inflating in low-speed crashes that wasn’t suppose to kill. These deaths include 78 drivers, 10 adult passengers, 119 children, and 22 infants. So the question is, does the risk of injury or death caused by airbags greater then the chance of it saving lives? The possibility of the airbags saving lives greater then that of it causing injury or death. Therefore making airbags an asset to cars.

Moreover, it is true to say that airbags to cause death and injury, but to what extent? According to the NHTSA only 229 people have died since 1990 and 10,789 lives were saved thanks to airbags. As in percentage, making it only 2 percent of the people in accidents were killed and 98 percent survived. So according to the statistics which is greater those who died or the those who survived? Since those people who were killed by the airbags deploying in a small collision, the best thing to prevent injury or death is to improve the system.

The bag is made of a thin, nylon fabric, which is folded into the steering

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