Airbags and safety belts are now viewed as complements for occupant protection in a crash. There is also a view that no single solution exists to ensure safety and that a system of protective technologies is needed to maximize safety in the wide variety of real automotive crashes. This paper compares the fatality prevention effectiveness, and biomechanical principles of occupant restraint systems. It focuses on the effectiveness of various systems in preventing fatal injury assuming the restraint is available and used. While lap-shoulder belts provide the greatest safety, airbags protect both belted and unbelted occupants.