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 7, 2006
Side airbags cut driver deaths
An expanded study of the effectiveness of side airbags confirms they are reducing fatality risk in real-world crashes in both cars and SUVs.
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 reduce fatality risk
In the first study of the real-world effectiveness of head-protecting side airbags, Institute researchers have found they cut driver deaths in side crashes by about 45 percent.
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
Tests show how side airbags save heads
Many cars now come with head-protecting side airbags, and recent crash tests show just how beneficial they can be.
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.
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
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 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
August 30, 1997
Drivers want vehicles with airbags and are aware of airbag injury risks
February 15, 1997
Airbag depowering, deactivation are addressed in comments
Consumers still want airbags in their cars, Institute survey finds
January 11, 1997
Crash tests show why airbags are important safety features
Brian O'Neill on the dangers of disconnecting airbags
December 7, 1996
Remedying airbag injuries is goal of new NHTSA proposals
Passenger airbags are reducing deaths in frontal crashes
September 28, 1996
Head protection isn't addressed in either U.S. or European rule
June 1, 1996
Kids and air bags are the subject of a new Institute publication
May 4, 1996
Side-impact airbags first in Volvos and soon in many more models
Summary of automakers' plans for side airbags
February 3, 1996
Airbag side effects are subject of comments to NHTSA
Hazards to children from airbags are of special concern
Many parents know of danger to infants from passenger airbags
Passenger airbags get high marks from motorists in crashes
December 2, 1995
Airbag injuries to children: warnings come from two federal agencies
March 18, 1995
Airbags save lives; nearly 50,000,000 vehicles confirm effectiveness
February 25, 1995
Economist misses mark on effect of airbags and withholds report on which faulty conclusions are based
©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org
Subscribe to news updates
Watch our channel
Mobile ratings & news