Posted on Dec 12, 2013
The cost and crashworthiness of vehicles as well as drivers’ safety habits affect the cost of auto insurance. Out of concern for public safety and to help reduce the cost of crashes, insurers support safe driving initiatives. It is a major supporter of anti-drunk driving and seat belt usage campaigns.
LIVES SAVED BY SAFETY DEVICES
Airbags: Airbags are designed to inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that frontal airbags saved 2,204 lives in 2011. Airbags, combined with seat belts, are the most effective safety protection available for passenger vehicles. Seat belts alone reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent. The fatality-reducing effectiveness for airbags is 14 percent when no seat belt is used and 11 percent when a seat belt is used in conjunction with airbags. Side airbags, which protect the head, chest and abdomen, reduce driver deaths by an estimated 37 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Seat belts: Among passenger vehicle occupants over the age of four, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives in 2011 and 292,471 lives from 1975 through 2011. In fatal crashes in 2011, 77 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed.
Child Safety Seats: NHTSA says that in 2011 the lives of an estimated 263 children under the age of five were saved by restraints.
Motorcycle Helmets: NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists in 2011. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 703 lives could have been saved.
Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. In other words, for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.
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