Vehicle manufacturers install airbags in almost every car and truck so that the vehicle occupants have a lower risk of injury in the event of an accident. Yet, the effectiveness of these safety features has been a matter of inquiry for many years. Some consumers even insist that airbags increase the likelihood of getting hurt, rather than how airbags lower the risk of injury. To set the record straight, the following myths concerning airbags are debunked.

Myth #1: Airbags are the most crucial safety mechanisms that vehicles have.

While airbags can save lives, seat belts are still the most essential safety feature that any car or truck has. Seat belts are designed to work in tandem with airbags. Airbags are not meant to provide enough protection from injury during an accident on their own.

Myth #2: Airbags can cause suffocation.

Airbags only stay inflated for a few seconds after they are triggered. This isn’t long enough to restrict your access to oxygen. Additionally, airbags are built with small openings that vent the bag to ensure air is accessible even while filled. Since they are porous, there is no way for a person to be suffocated while an airbag is inflated.

Myth #3: The Presence of Airbags Means That Seatbelts Are Not Needed

Airbags are only meant to be a backup for people who believe they don’t need seatbelts. To be safe, it’s important to always wear your seatbelt in conjunction with working airbags. Airbags alone could help a little, but they will not work as effectively as they would if the seatbelts are also worn. Airbags are intended to be a backup safety mechanism rather than a primary solution.

Myth #4: Airbags are known for killing kids.

In some circumstances, improper use of airbags has caused child deaths; but many of these fatalities were found to be preventable. For instance, car seats meant to be rear-facing should never be put in a seat with an airbag. Children are not to sit in the front seat and their seat belts should always be fastened correctly or there is a chance of an airbag-related fatality. If parents follow airbag rules, airbag-related child deaths should not take place at all.

However, faulty airbags are a known hazard. What should you know about defective airbags? Airbags do prevent many deaths every year, but when they are faulty, there is a chance they can result in severe injuries.

Myth #5: Airbags do more harm than good.

Since airbags were first installed in cars and trucks in 1991, they have saved over 1,800 lives. On the other hand, airbags have caused 62 fatalities, and many of these were also attributed to a lack of seatbelt use.

Airbags are effective protective mechanisms if they are used correctly. Be sure to always wear a seatbelt correctly in addition to having the protection of airbags. Children should always sit in the back and should be restrained correctly in the type of car seat suitable for their age. Rear-facing car seats should never be set up in a seat that has an airbag.