By Nathaniel Devine

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This paper is discussing the topic of airbags. Now everyone is saying

that "oooohh, airbags are LIFESAVERS," and others reactions are "airbags

are terrible and they're KILLERS." Let's get the facts straight about airbags.

First of all kids under 12 shouldn't ride in the front seat of any car

equipped with airbags. Transport Canada says: the recent death of a 4 year

old boy from Montreal whose neck was broken in a low-paced traffic

accident, the boy was wearing a seatbelt at the time. Airbags and children in

the front seat don't go together, says Dr. Barry Pless of Montreal Children's


Transport Canada said that small children usually push there shoulder

belt behind their backs because they don't like it sweeping across their face,

then the child is only buckled in by the lap portion of the belt. In an accident

this allows the child's upper body to be thrown forward into an exploding


3 adults have died in Canada in minor accidents as a result of airbags.

the 3 victims who died were either not wearing their seatbelts properly or

they were sitting to close to the dashboard. The little 4 year old boy who died

was the first child death in Canada due to airbags, Harry Leyden of the

transport department said; "we want to make sure that it doesn't happen


Even when children sit in carseats and the carseat is turned backward

they are still very vulnerable. "The safest place for a child under 12 is in the

back seat," says Leyden.

In the US 21 children have died due to airbags.

"15 fatal car crashes involving airbags have resulted in the deaths of 4

children," says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The

AAA says that 39 million people do not know where to put a child's safety

seat in relation to an airbag.

Dr. Barry Pless was one of the first people to think of the idea of rear facing

car seats on the passenger side. Now it will be mandatory for car makers to

put warning labels including where to place child seat in vehicles equipped

with airbags,

Kids should always wear seatbelts so they don't slip off the front of

there seat in a car crash, You should make it a harsh family rule that all

people in your car wear seatbelts. By the year 1999 all cars and trucks will

have driver and passenger side airbags. One possible solution to stopping

deaths by airbags is slowing down the rate at which the airbag inflates,

Airbags are designed to protect the face, neck, head and chest area

during frontal or backward crashes. Chemical burns to the hand and face may

occur. The airbag inflates between 20 & 30 milliseconds.

According to Herb Shulinder and other resources the Volvo (all

models) is the best car for high-paced accidents because all the new models

have side door airbags. Just ask Linda Dugger who's life was saved on US

highway 75 near Texas thanks to side impact airbags. BMW and Mercedes-

Benz plan on putting side impact airbags in all their cars by 1999.

Car makers and the government are looking at ways to make airbags

safer. Until then, they're warning drivers to buckle up and sit back.




One can conclude that:

1) Kids under 12 and airbags DON'T MIX!

2) In your family you should make sure that it's a harsh rule that everyone

wears a seatbelt, and if you have little ones make sure they don't push the top

portion of the belt behind them!

3) Never sit to close to the dashboard.

Are airbags lifesavers or killers, hopefully we'll soon find out.