There has been increasing media coverage about the dangers of air bags when infants, small children, pregnant women and short stature drivers are placed in the front passenger seat. Although it is fitting that the public be aware of such risks, we are deeply concerned that the well-established benefits of air bags are being overlooked by this intense media coverage.
Air bags are performing well overall. They saved an estimated 1,100 lives during 1986-1995. Driver side air bags in passenger cars reduce overall fatality risk by an estimated 11 percent, including a 30 percent reduction in fatalities in head-on crashes.