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. Frontal airbags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body, stopping the occupant more gradually.

Seat-mounted side impact and roof-rail airbags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper 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:

    Entry Lighting
    If it is dark enough outside when you press the unlock button on the remote keyless entry transmitter, the interior courtesy lamps will turn on and stay on for about 40 seconds. The lamps can be ...

    Shifting out of Park
    Automatic Transmission Shift Lock The vehicle has an automatic transmission shift lock control system. The shift lock control system is designed to: • Prevent ignition key removal unless ...

    ENGINE OVERHEATED — IDLE ENGINE
    This message displays when the engine coolant temperature is too hot. Stop and allow the vehicle to idle until it cools down. ...