Monday, March 24, 2014
Airbags Not Deploying in Fatal Crashes
About 3,400 people die each year in frontal crashes with no airbag deployment in their vehicle, according to federal data analyzed by Automotive News.
The number -- amounting to one-tenth of all traffic fatalities -- underscores the difficulty of discerning between incidents when airbags might have failed due to a defect and those in which a variable such as speed or angle of impact was a factor in the airbags not deploying.
A detailed examination of the government's Fatality Analysis Reporting System identified 120 deaths in front-impact crashes with no airbag deployment in Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions covered by General Motors' ignition recall. Forty-one people died in rollovers, and six crashes involved a fire; both are conditions in which an accident could be severe enough to kill without triggering the airbags