How Does an Airbag Restrain?

In moderate to severe frontal or near frontal collisions, even belted occupants can contact the steering wheel or the instrument panel. In moderate to severe side collisions, even belted occupants can contact the inside of the vehicle.

Airbags supplement the protection provided by safety belts by distributing the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's body.

But airbags would not help in many types of collisions, primarily because the occupant's motion is not toward those airbags. See When Should an Airbag Inflate? for more information.

Airbags should never be regarded as anything more than a supplement to safety belts.

    See also:

    Older Children
    Older children who have outgrown booster seats should wear the vehicle’s safety belts. Q: What is the proper way to wear safety belts? A: An older child should wear a lap-shoulder belt and get ...

    Sensor
    The solar sensor, located on top of the instrument panel near the windshield, monitors the solar heat. The climate control system uses the sensor information to adjust the temperature, fan sp ...

    Hill Start Assist (HSA)
    This vehicle has a Hill Start Assist (HSA) feature, which may be useful when the vehicle is stopped on a grade. This feature is designed to prevent the vehicle from rolling, either forward or rear ...