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7. Vehicle Components

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155
Safety Equipment - Air Bags

Air Bags

Air bags, combined with lap/shoulder safety belts, offer the most effective safety protection available today for passenger vehicles. Air bags are designed to provide protection over and above what the seat belt provides. Air bags work best and afford maximum protection in tandem with seat belt use. Seat belts protect you in all crash situations.

Air bags, on the other hand, are designed to provide extra protection only in frontal crash situations because people are far more likely to die in a frontal crash than in any other type of crash.

Crash sensors trigger air bag deployment when your vehicle experiences a significant frontal or near frontal impact. This causes the solid chemicals within the module to convert to harmless nitrogen gas in a chemical reaction. The expanding gas fills the bag, which opens the cover on the steering wheel hub or the dashboard. When fully expanded, the bag absorbs the forces that the body would normally absorb in the crash. The air bag protects the head and upper body from striking the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield.

Most air bag deaths have involved people who weren't using belts, were using them incorrectly, or were positioned improperly.

For the maximum air bag protection:

  • sit back at least 10 inches from the steering wheel and dashboard
  • always wear your seat belt properly
  • if your steering wheel tilts, direct it toward your chest, not your head
  • if you are pregnant, place the lap belt low on your abdomen with the shoulder portion over the collarbone
  • Always seat children in the back seat when possible, even if there is no airbag in front of them. Avoid putting children in the front seat of a car equipped with airbags. Children sitting in the front seat with an air bag could be severely injured by the airbag.

    Even when kids get older, riding in the back seat is safer. Never install a rear-facing infant safety seat in the front seat of a car equipped with passenger-side air bags, unless the vehicle is equipped with a disabling switch and the switch is in the "off" position.

    If you must put a child in the front seat, then an airbag on/off switch is essential. If there are too many children to all sit in back, make sure the seat is all the way back and the child is securely buckled and sitting back in the seat.


    Lesson Summary


      

    Lesson 7 Quiz


    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. This oil warning light means that:


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    2. Disc brakes work by:


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    3. The engine in your car is sometimes called:


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    4. The ALTERNATOR:


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    5. The minimum tread thickness for passenger car tires is:


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