• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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."