Message Monday - Best unopened gift... your airbag

12-26 message mondayYou see the images everywhere this time of year – wonderfully decorated Christmas trees with beautifully wrapped gifts underneath. Many families look forward to a guessing game of what’s inside and the excitement when the secrets wrapped in colorful paper are finally revealed.

One of the most valuable “gifts” the majority of vehicle owners automatically receive are the airbags inside your vehicle. These safety features may not seem like much of a gift as they sit dormant inside the steering wheel, dashboard, or side impact zones, but as most anyone who has been in a crash that triggered one of these devices can tell you, they are lifesavers.

Since federal legislation began mandating airbags in 1998, the number of lives saved has risen as the number of vehicles on the road equipped with the devices has grown. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, frontal airbags now save approximately 2,000 lives every year.

Here’s a glimpse at how current airbag technology works.

The fatality count of 391 is an increase of nine from last Monday. In all of 2015, 320 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to daily fatality count.

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