The following is a statement by ACTS President Phil Haseltine in response to advanced airbag regulation announced by NHTSA:

Today’s announcement about the next generation of airbags is good news for consumers.

Airbags combined with lap and shoulder belts give motorists the best possible protection in a crash. They save lives and reduce injury severity. But even with all the built-in safety technology and the newest airbags, it’s the old technology-safety belts and child safety seats for children up to 80 pounds-that continues to provide the primary protection in all kinds of crashes.

DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are to be commended for carefully crafting a new standard that will strengthen public confidence in airbags by permitting lower deployment speeds and requiring more exhaustive testing with a new family of crash dummies. Vehicle manufacturers have already begun phasing new airbag designs into their new vehicle fleets, adding to the long list of other important safety equipment in today’s new cars and trucks.

Buckling up every trip is now decades old advice, but it remains the best advice out on the road. All adult motor vehicle passengers should be in safety belts and children in age and size appropriate child safety seats. Children under age 13 should be in a rear seat regardless of what type airbag system a vehicle may have.