Posted by JRM on March 12, 2001 at 18:14:43:
In Reply to: Re: Airbags vs seatbelts posted by Jason on March 12, 2001 at 17:25:16:
Ah, I figured someone would trumpet out this crap. You forgot the one really large concern (and the only really valid one, in my opinion) which is burns. The airbag deploys so quickly you get freezing burns when you hit it. But it's nice to see that some folks believe everything they read.
You probably think electric cars are less poluting, or that the wind generators currently being erected are good for the environment.
Yes airbags can be dangerous to short and young folks. And people crazy enough to put their kids in the front seats of cars have had problems. But drop on by your local Fire Department next time they do a volunteer "child safety seat inspection" and you'll see that 90% of people (including most of the intelligent ones) have installed their safety seats wrong in the first place, airbags aside.
Airbags have gotten a really bad rap from personal injury attorneys. I hate PI attorneys. Just because someone is a moron and sticks a screwdriver in their eye doesn't mean they're entitled to money from the screwdriver manufacturer. People roll in their Explorer when a tire blows out at high speed. *What the &@#$ are they doing driving a high center of gravity vehicle 85mph?* Suzuki's rolled when you took an onramp at 55mph. Again, why the heck are you driving a vehicle outside it's intended range?
Same thing with dive gear. One of the major problems is that people are stupid, and blame the manufacturer. Same in any sport. I had my favorite climbing harness recalled because some moron clipped into a piece of elastic instead of the harness itself. Solution, remove the elastic. That elastic is the major comfort feature. Similar to airbags. People live, and they're pissed because instead of being a grease-spot they've broken an arm (although usually it's a broken nose, jaw, or cheeks).
There's several collisions in an MVA. Your car hits something. You hit your restraining system. Then your organs hit the inside of you. The idea is to lengthen the time of decelleration, which decreases the force (F=ma). Seat belts don't help here. Crumple zones do, and airbags do. I saw a woman ploy into a monster ecualyptus (sp) tree at 75+mph, get out of her car, and bitch about her neck hurting (airbag deployed). I've also seen a kid cross a divider, head on, look perfectly normal (except for minor battle signs), and be DOA. His insides were mush from the sudden stop (seatbelt only).
So yes, there's good and bad in everything. But don't believe everything you see on 20/20. Hell, they put incindiery devices in those trucks so they would blow up when hit.
--sorry to get so worked up, I'm mostly mad at myself for using the airbag as an analogy cause I knew this would be coming. But this again is one of my hot-button topics. If everyone had to extricate a screaming kid from an MVA they'd probably drive safer. I know why MHK is so passionate about diving safety, it's the same reason I'm so adamant about climbing safety.
I have two favorite quotes. One is by someone unknown: "The power of accurate perception is often labeled cynicism by those who do not possess it." In this case it should be "labeled ghouls by those who have never been in those situations"
The second is much more light hearted, and grew on me in the years I did dial-up tech support: "Think of how stupid the average American is, then think that half of them are stupider than that, because that's what average means" -- George Carlin.
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