These devices have slashed the highway death toll.
December 23, 2014
Study looks at boosting rear-seat safety
Restraint system changes might make sitting in back even safer, especially for adults.
May 29, 2014
Side airbags reduce rollover deaths
Side airbags that deploy in rollover crashes reduce deaths of front seat occupants by 41 percent in rollovers, a NHTSA study shows.
December 20, 2012
Side airbags reduce deaths and injuries
Side airbags that protect the head and torso reduce the likelihood of death and upper body injuries in near-side crashes by 61 percent compared with no side airbags, an Australian study finds.
April 26, 2011
Ejection rule could change side airbags
A new federal standard means side airbags will deploy in rollovers as well as side impacts. IIHS supports the rule but has concerns about other changes it requires.
February 6, 2010
Study points at airbag rule problem
New frontal airbag standards appear to decrease protection of belted occupants, an IIHS study shows.
March 7, 2009
Are airbags failing to inflate?
The Institute took a closer look at crash deaths in which the airbag reportedly failed to inflate. The analysis shows a potential problem, albeit a limited one.
June 9, 2008
New airbags protect people of all ages
A six-year evaluation by a blue ribbon panel finds that redesigned frontal airbags are doing a better job than older airbags at keeping children safe while still protecting adults.
January 27, 2007
How airbags became commonplace
Former Institute president Brian O'Neill reflects on the history of airbags and what the future holds.
October 5, 2006
Side airbags cut fatality risk in cars and SUVs
Side airbags that protect people's heads are reducing driver deaths in cars struck on the driver side by an estimated 37 percent. Airbags that protect only the chest and abdomen but not the head are reducing deaths by 26 percent.
September 14, 2006
New side airbags on 2 Fords improve crash test results
IIHS recently tested four 2007 model vehicles with side airbags. The Toyota FJ Cruiser and Ford Freestyle earn good ratings for protection in side crashes. The Ford Fusion is rated acceptable, and the Ford Crown Victoria is marginal.
February 25, 2006
Recent airbag study has flaws
Institute researchers show the problems with a recent study that claimed to find that airbags cause more deaths than they prevent.
August 6, 2005
Safety features have saved 300,000 lives
Federal motor vehicle safety standards and various safety technologies saved 328,551 lives from 1960 to 2002, a government study has found.
Airbag inflation deaths decline
Airbag inflation deaths have gone from a high of 68 in 1995 models to just one among 2004 models.
August 1, 2004
Evidence supports depowering airbags
Study after study shows reducing inflation forces of frontal airbags has cut deaths caused by airbags. No evidence has emerged to show this reduction has compromised protection.
Court upholds 25 mph test speed
A federal appeals court sides with NHTSA over its decision to conduct crash tests with unbelted dummies at 25 mph instead of 30 mph.
July 3, 2004
Confusion about airbag on/off switches
Some pickups have on/off switches for passenger airbags to protect children, but drivers often don't turn them off when children are seated up front, a government survey has found.
March 6, 2004
Depowered airbags cut fatality risk
New Institute research shows that driver protection wasn’t sacrificed when automakers began depowering airbags, beginning with 1998 models.
January 3, 2004
Voluntary compatibility standards
Fifteen automakers have committed to voluntary standards that will boost head protection in front-to-side crashes and help reduce underride and override in front-to-front crashes.
August 26, 2003
Side airbags save lives in real-world crashes
Side airbags that include head protection are reducing deaths by about 45 percent among drivers of passenger cars struck on the driver side. Side airbags that protect the chest and abdomen, but not the head, also are reducing deaths, but they're less effective. These are the major findings of an IIHS study of the real-world effectiveness of side airbags.
June 28, 2003
Head protection is key
Head injuries are a leading cause of death in side crashes. Head-protecting side airbags can help.
March 15, 2003
Change to advanced airbag schedule
Automakers have won additional time during the early part of the advanced airbag phase-in because of a shortage of parts. The deadline for 100 percent compliance remains the same.
Fight over unbelted tests moves to court
Public Citizen and other groups have asked a federal court to review NHTSA's decision to conduct unbelted airbag testing at 25 mph. The Institute supports NHTSA's decision.
February 8, 2003
The danger of stolen or fake airbags
Salvaged or stolen airbags may put consumers at risk. Even more dangerous are fake airbags, which won't function at all in a crash.
April 6, 2002
Airbag risk falls in new vehicles
Deaths caused by inflating airbags have declined, thanks to education and improved designs.
January 6, 2001
Real-world crashes show need for airbags
Many of the nearly 10,000 deaths that occur each year in side crashes are the result of head injuries. Side airbags with head protection could prevent many of them.
December 14, 2000
New crash tests show benefits of side airbags for heads
Many new cars are being equipped with airbags designed to protect people's heads in side impacts. New IIHS crash tests of the BMW X5 and Volvo S80 demonstrate the important benefits of these side airbag head protection systems.
August 7, 2000
Thanks to new airbag design, Volvo S80 earns 'best pick'
Volvo has changed the design of the airbags in its S80s for the 2001 model year, and the changes mean the new model earns the highest crashworthiness rating — "best pick" — from IIHS. The 2000 model S80 was rated good, but it wasn't a "best pick" because of concerns about the airbag design.
October 2, 1999
Technical group on side airbags will develop procedures to assess safety
April 24, 1999
On the brink of advanced frontal airbags in new cars
Better bumpers on most vehicles the Institute tested
April 6, 1999
Tests show how head-protecting side airbags could help
For the first time, automakers are beginning to offer side airbags with head protection in more popular and less expensive passenger vehicles. Ford Motor Company rolled out its new side airbags for 1999 models, and crash tests conducted by IIHS demonstrate the potential benefits of this safety technology in side crashes.
February 6, 1999
Changes to federal airbag rules shouldn't include reinstating 30 mph unbelted crash test, Institute and others tell NHTSA
October 10, 1998
Advanced airbags are the focus of new NHTSA rulemaking
Side airbags for people's heads are facilitated by new NHTSA rule
July 30, 1998
IIHS applauds NHTSA for encouraging new side airbags
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has changed a rule to encourage the use of airbags that deploy from vehicles' upper interiors to protect people's heads in side crashes.
July 11, 1998
Advanced airbags mandated in new federal funding law
April 4, 1998
Airbag switches sought by people who transport kids in front
December 27, 1997
BMW's new HPS protects heads from serious injury in side impact crashes
Import automakers plan window curtain airbags for heads
November 29, 1997
Most shorter drivers can eliminate risk without on/off switches
November 18, 1997
Very few people need airbag switches
Responding to the government's decision to allow some motorists to get on/off switches for their airbags, IIHS President Brian O'Neill says, "We hope this doesn't result in large numbers of people getting switches because only a small minority of motorists are at risk of serious injury from inflating airbags."
October 29, 1997
New side airbag system performs well in crash test
A new BMW airbag system designed to protect people's heads in serious side impacts has made an impressive showing in a crash test by IIHS.
August 30, 1997
Drivers want vehicles with airbags and are aware of airbag injury risks
August 19, 1997
Survey finds drivers want airbags, despite problems
Many vehicle owners are aware of airbag-related problems, but a large majority believe airbags are effective and wouldn't want to have them deactivated, a new Institute survey indicates.
July 3, 1997
IIHS counters claims about airbag safety
Institute President Brian O'Neill responds to the press conference held by Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety addressing "which cars have the safest and which the most dangerous airbags."
June 27, 1997
Children are always safer riding restrained in the back
A new Institute study shows children are nearly always safer when they ride in the back seat — even if a vehicle doesn't have a passenger airbag.
January 9, 1997
Negative publicity obscures airbag benefits
Institute President Brian O'Neill today showed photos from recent crash tests to illustrate airbag benefits and told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that motorists should consider disconnecting airbags "only in extremely rare circumstances."
©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org
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