Automotive Airbags

Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E. | Carl Finocchiaro | Jubal Hamernik | Stephen Fenton


In contrast to historical opposition to tougher federal safety standards, automakers are currently promoting safety features as a market strategy.

The American public believes that an airbag system protects them and that they want an airbag in the next car they purchase. The whole industry of automotive safety restraints is experiencing a revolutionary shift toward improving safety systems.

When properly utilized, seat belts and airbags are the most effective vehicle safety features available to decrease the risk of occupant injury in vehicle collisions. General Motors introduced airbags in 1974, and by 1990 Chrysler produced its one millionth airbag-equipped vehicle.

The big three automakers in the United States are increasingly using airbags in their vehicles. An estimated 63 million vehicles manufactured in 1997 will be equipped with a driver’s side airbag.

Published By


Accident Investigation Quarterly, Issue 16, 1997
1997