By: A Staff Writer
A recent investigation by the Kansas City Star newspaper has found that 1,400 people may have died in head-on or frontal collisions because their front air bags did not deploy. According to an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it was a phenomenon that baffled traffic accident investigators.
For example, when Atlanta wife and mother Brooke Katz died three months pregnant, police officers who recall that violent crash also say that they thought it was “curious” that Katz’s 2005 Dodge Caravan’s air bags had not deployed. The Kansas City Star’s investigation reportedly found that this didn’t only happen in Katz’s accident, but happened in hundreds of traffic accidents. In fact, here’s an interesting statistic.
The newspaper found that more people had died over the last six years from air bags not deploying than all those who died from injuries caused by air bags that deployed easily or forcefully. Not only that – the newspaper also reports that only 300 people died since 1990 from forceful deployment of airbags. But the body count is a whopping 1,400 when it came to those who died because their front airbags did not deploy at all. What’s more, the death count rose to 1,900 when the Star took into account side and rear impact crashes.
This investigation has baffled even safety advocates, who wonder why these airbags are not deploying the way they are supposed to. To put things in perspective 1,400 people died in head-on crashes over the last six years even when their airbags deployed and federal government estimates show that deployment of airbags in fact saved 15,000 lives over this six-year period.
While all that is good news, 1,400 lives were still lost. The question is: Why did the airbags not do their job and why did those people have to die. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration officials are in disagreement with the Star’s analysis, calling it flawed and a “disservice to the public.”
The public will be better served by knowing the truth about the vehicles they drive. The public will be better off when auto manufacturers and federal government agencies focus on answering puzzling, unanswered questions about products that seem inadequate or defective.
Katz’s family has reportedly filed a product liability and wrongful death lawsuit against the auto manufacturer. Hopefully, details and facts will emerge from that lawsuit, which will tell the public the truth about these airbags.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident or a result of a defective product, contact Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule your free and completely confidential consultation.