U.S. and foreign auto manufacturers tend to design in features based on consumer demand. Over the last few years the focus has been on increasing both the electronic bells and whistles in cars, as well as increasing the fuel efficiency. What has not been a primary focus with recent late model cars has been automotive safety.
Side airbags were introduced about a decade ago, but their use has not been widespread. In fact side airbags, which are known to reduce driver and passenger chances of being seriously injured in a major impact collision, are common mostly on very high end, luxury vehicles.
Side airbags are not typically included in the rear of a vehicle, and as a personal injury attorney, I have often wondered why. Concerns over child safety have mandated that kids be strapped into approved safety seats until they are above a certain weight. Once a child is out of a car seat, they are still required to ride in the back seat, but if there are not side airbags in the back seat, is this really the safest place for a child?
Product safety lawyers have challenged Deteroit and other major manufacturing centers to begin incorporating side airbags into every make and model of car. Since a majority of collisions involve side impact, it makes sense that these safety features would reduce injuries and improve the safety of all passengers.
Grassroots efforts to lobby manufacturers to improve safety in vehicles has been ongoing with mixed results. While auto manufacturers have been forced to face concerns about too much electronic gadgetry distracting drivers, it has done little to force the issue of side airbags.
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