As a vehicle accident inspector, working with the NY State Troopers and various Police Departments, I have seen firsthand the injuries that occur when people do not wear their seat belt.
The fact is: Air bags DO save lives and will protect you, if you’re also wearing your seat belt. Air bags work with seat belts and not meant to replace the need for seat belts. The seat belt insures that the occupants are properly seated firmly against the seat back in order to prevent the person from flying forward and to prepare the person for air bag deployment, in the event of an accident. If the person is not wearing the seat belt in a collision, that person will not be fully protected, even when the air bag is deployed, and inertia will throw the person into the dashboard and windshield, causing bodily injuries.
If you have an airbag-equipped car from the late 1980s to mid-1990s, make sure you check the owner’s manual to see if the automaker calls for an airbag replacement or inspection. If you don’t know where the manual is, see “How To Find Your Car’s Owner’s Manual Online,“ can help you track it down. Other places to check for airbag information are on the driver-side door jam and on the back of the sun visors.
So, remember, always buckle up and be safe!