Published: Jan 2001
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IN ITS REPORT OF January 2000, NHTSA Special Crash Investigations Unit (SCI) estimates that for the usage period from 1986 through January 1, 2000, air bags have saved 4301 driver lives and 764 passenger lives (NHTSA 2000). Along with this benefit, NHTSA/SCI estimates a subset of incidents where injuries, and even fatalities, were caused by air bags. NHTSA data show that there were 150 fatalities attributed to air bags in this period, broken down as 57 driver, 6 adult passenger, and 87 child fatalities. Figure 3.1 summarizes these data and provides a risk/benefit perspective showing that air bags are generally a positive safety measure.