Newer air bags not linked to more driver deaths
NE Louboutin Shoes W YORK (Reu Louboutin Shoes ters Health) The use of second generation air bags in motor vehicles does not appear to have increased fatalities amo Louboutin Shoes ng drivers involved in head on crashes, study findings suggest.
“The point of second generation, or depowered, airbags was to reduce deaths among children, small adults, and vulnerable occupants who were previously killed by air bag deployment,” Dr. Elisa R. Braver noted in an interview with Reuters Health. air bag testing regulations were changed, there were concerns that depowering air bags might place drivers at increased risk, said Braver, of the National Study Center for Trauma and EMS, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
To determine whether newer air bags placed drivers at increased risk, Braver and colleagues looked at driver fatalities in 1,572 two vehicle, head on collisions between passenger vehicles. “A head on collision is a very demanding test of how restraint systems work,” Braver noted.
They compared passenger vehicles from model years 1994 to 1997 with first generation air bags, with those from model years 1998 to 2005 outfitted with second generation air bags.
The investigators did not find an increased fatality risk among drivers with second generation, compared with first generation air bags, after factoring in age, seat belt status, vehicle type, passenger car size, and model year.
“It is reassuring that newer style airbags do not appear to put adults at greater risk,” Braver commented.
The study data also point to less risk for pick up truck drivers in vehicles with second generation air bags involved in head on crashes, Braver said. Hence, the newer air bags may have resulted in improved frontal crash protection for drivers of pickup trucks.
Most of the fatal cra Louboutin Shoes shes occurred on roads with speed limits of 55 mph (89 kilometer per hour) or higher, and, as expected, drivers 60 years and older, those unrestrained by seat belts, and drivers of cars colliding with pickup trucks or sport utility vehicles had significantly greater risks of dying, regardless of air bag generation.
SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, March 2008. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.