How Many Lives Do Airbags Save Each Year?

many-lives-airbags-save-year Credit: Patti McConville/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that frontal airbags saved 2,213 lives in 2012. This number has risen each year since 1998, when federal legislation mandating frontal air bags went into effect, and has now leveled out at just over 2,000 lives saved a year.

Early implementations of air bags in passenger vehicles caused concern because of the risk of injury to passengers when the air bags deployed. Since then, air bag technology has improved, and studies have shown that by ensuring children always ride in the back seat and that adults adjust front seats so that they are more than 10 inches from the air bag, injury can be prevented.