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Air bags not enough.


Because air bags have become more widely available on new car models, many owners of these newer makes think seat belts are unnecessary. Not so, say the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

The ACA points out that air bags--sealed in the hub of the steering wheel and, in some models, in the dashboard on the passenger's side--are effective in protecting the motorist against going through the windshield or being jostled about during a head-on collision when traveling more than 12 miles per hour. Nevertheless, air bags offer only limited protection against neuromusculoskeletal injuries, such as cracked ribs. Besides, they do nothing for the passenger involved in a rear-end collision. Therefore, the ACA urges drivers and passengers to use seat belts along with the air bags to reduce the risk of life-threatening injuries.

Even this measure will not entirely cut out injuries, however, because any collision, no matter how small, can throw the body out of balance. Therefore, the ACA recommends that all accident victims have a spinal checkup as soon as possible after an accident.
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Title Annotation:must still use seat belts
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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