A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms that airbag use saves lives. An airbag deployment in a side impact automobile accident is thirty-seven percent more likely to save the life of the driver than in a non-deployment impact. This figure rises to fifty-two percent if the accident involves a sport utility vehicle. This means that in automobile accidents, airbag deployment and seatbelt use save lives.
I wonder whether we would have seat belts or airbags if tort reform advocates successfully placed caps on damages or prevented lawsuits from holding corporations accountable for defective products or negligent behavior. I guess that companies would never have invested in safety research had such exposure and accountability not been preseent. This research confirms for me that consumer advocates and plaintiff’s litigation firms have an important role to play in our marketplace to ensure safety and accountability for products placed into our stream of commerce.
If you have further interest in understanding about the benefits of airbags, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety prepared a question and answer page on its web site about airbags and automobile accidents.