Airbags are a key safety component inside modern cars that are designed to help limit the severe injuries faced by those involved in accidents. However, a new study completed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the new knee airbags being placed in many vehicles barely improves safety records and can even negatively affect a person’s likelihood to survive an accident without a serious injury.
These supplemental restraints are being built into newer vehicle models and can come below the steering wheel from the lower dashboard. The primary purpose of these knee airbags is to protect the legs from impact and to help keep the entire body in place during a crash. The cost of this equipment can be significant for car manufacturers at more than $100 per bag and can also add extensive repairs for airbag system replacements after the accident.
The IIHS found, however, that the safety improvements from these airbags are very limited. For example, the rate of injuries in cars with airbags was reduced from 7.9% to 7.4%, but the IIHS also determined that such a difference was statistically insignificant. Belted dummies in early crash tests with these knee airbags had higher rates of leg injuries than those without them. However, the overall head injuries were reduced in crash test dummy cars using the knee airbags.
If you have recently been hurt in a San Francisco vehicle accident, including injuries sustained to your knees, scheduling a consultation with an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer is your next step.