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By , Reno, NV
Airbags in cars are intended to save our life in the case of a collision. An airbag going off in a vehicle might save our life or end our life as we know it. Do we really need to have the government ruling every minute of our lives? Since 1998, the US government has required that all vehicles sold in this country have driver and passenger-side airbags. This law is required without long term investigation on possible negative aspects of this requirement. Airbags in automobiles are not as safe as the government and the press claims they are. They can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries to the people in a vehicle and shouldn't be required by law.

We are over-governed. An individual should have the right to educate themselves to risks involved and have the right to a choice rather than having the government try to live their lives for them. The Declaration of Independence grants each citizen “the pursuit of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The founding document of this country gives us our personal rights. Many judicial cases, including the Freedom of Choice Act, support the idea that “the US was founded on principals of individual liberty, personal privacy, and equality.”

The government claims to have the advantage of high-dollar statistical analysis that justifies regulations regarding airbags. They claim that airbags reduce the risk of dying in a frontal crash by approximately 30%. The Constitution gives the government police power; “the power to promote public health, safety, morals, and general welfare.” The government has approved many things into law without reviewing long-term effects (particularly pharmaceutical drugs) because they are highly influenced by big-money lobbyists. Over 3 million people are injured in automobile accidents annually and there are over 40,000 deaths. How many of these occur because of injuries from airbags that the government requires us to have in cars?


According to “The Coming Revolution in Airbag Technology” , a study written by Byron Bloch for the US government on auto safety designs, the government and the auto makers were very well aware of the issues involving airbags. Studies of the dangers of airbags were mostly directed at women of short stature and children because the tests on airbag safety used dummies of mid-sized men; approximately 5’9” tall and 167 pounds. Auto manufacturers anticipated future rulings by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and began developing airbag systems (particularly in Europe). Yet, in 1971, leaders from the major car manufacturers in the US went to President Nixon regarding the potential risks to the automotive industry. Lee Iaccoca (CEO of Chrysler) was particularly critical. He felt the liability could be tremendous. Airbags implode at a rate of speed between 90 – 210 miles per hour and put out a force of approximately 2,000 pounds on passengers. There were no sensors for high speed vs. low speed impacts. The force was still the same. This force has the potential to cause “sever or fatal brain and neck trauma.”


Beyond “breaking technology”, and government impending regulation, how are we influenced by the press? In the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, the news people started telling the public about this great invention that was going to save people’s lives. They painted a pretty picture that would influence the American public without presenting the entire set of facts. Airbag technology went into effect without the public knowing about the true dangers of these new “safety devices”.

If one studies the basic laws of motion, the over-all picture of the effects of airbags becomes pretty evident. According to Newton’s laws of motion, moving objects have momentum (mass of the product and its velocity). Vehicle and contents continue to move at the speed of the vehicle, even if stopped by a collision. On impact, the vehicles momentum has changed immediately while the momentum of the vehicles content has not. In June of 1996, my grandfather was in a car accident. His vehicle was hit on the driver-side front corner. The airbag imploded. According to medical experts, the airbag stopped forward motion of the head. But, created a situation called “brain swirling.” (It stops motion of the skull, which is protective bone matter. The brain, as internal tissue, continues to turn inside from the impact.) The “brain swirling” caused irreparable damage to the brain stem. He would never live a normal life. And that was the “end of life as we know it…..”


The government knows the adverse effects…but, won’t tell us. The auto makers know the adverse effects.. but, won’t tell us (they’re making money!) . The NHTSA knows the adverse affects…but, won’t tell us. Yet, we have allowed this to become a part of our law; something we accept as “required”; without doing our homework and understanding the danger it puts us in on a daily basis.

According to the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of this country, the citizens of this country should have the right to some personal decisions without being regulated by the government. “We, the people” should still hold value in modern society. The ideas of this country were based on the tyranny of the British rule. Over two hundred years ago, the American people made a stand for independence. We need to continue that stand against government restriction that is not for the benefit of the people.
In the case of airbags in vehicles, they made regulations without studying the adverse affects. The population should be responsible for evaluating the risks and have the right to make an educated decision (pro or con) without government regulation.





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