Air bag safety

Ann Emerg Med. 1995 Jun;25(6):794-8. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(95)70210-5.


Study objective: To describe injuries associated with deployment of air bag passive-restraint systems in use in the United States.

Design: Retrospective review of data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 1980 to 1994.

Participants: Occupants of air bag-equipped vehicles who were involved in crashes on US roads.

Results: Of 618 reported occupant injuries related to air bag deployment, an overwhelming majority were classified as minor (96.1%). Most occupants sustained abrasions, contusions, and lacerations. The face (42.0%), wrist (16.8%), forearm (16.3%) and chest (9.6%) were the most frequently injured body areas.

Conclusion: Most injuries related to air bag deployment are minor and must be viewed in the context of the potentially life-threatening injuries they prevent.

MeSH terms

  • Air Bags / adverse effects*
  • Burns / etiology
  • Contusions / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Humans
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / etiology