1972-02-01

A Consumer Viewpoint on Car Restraint Systems 720429

Lap-shoulder belts became standard with very little, very inneffective explanation of why they should be used. National effort is needed to persuade all to use them, and auto industry to improve them, and see the effect of buzzers and interlocks before mandating airbags or equivalent. This paper looks at the past history of restraints, forecasts the future if airbags are to be mandated without explaining them. AAA of Michigan motorist survey shows strong dislike of airbags, a preference for seatbelt-shoulder harness if choice must be made, a strong feeling that it is not the business of government to mandate airbag or seatbelt use. Question is raised about claims of number of lives that airbags will save. Are they too high?

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