Car Safety Update
-- from January/February 1998 Newsletter
To preserve the lifesaving benefits of air bags and minimize their risks, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has changed its policy: People fitting specific profiles that put them at risk of injury from air bags may now install a switch to temporarily deactivate them. Who should consider such a dramatic step? According to the DOT, very few people actually need the on-off switch. Air bags are safe for the vast majority of people, who can virtually eliminate the risk by following basic safety rules: Never place a rear-facing baby seat in the front; always buckle up; keep about 10 inches between breastbone and airbag; and transport kids under the age of 13 in the back seat properly restrained. However, a small group of people are at risk of injury from air bags and should consider installing the on-off switch. People eligible for the on-off switches are:
To obtain the cutoff switch, you must fill out a request form stating your eligibility and get written authorization from the DOT, at which point an auto service center can install the switch.
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