Airbags save lives, but they also can lead to serious injuries and even death, especially if you sit too close to the steering wheel. According to ConsumerAffairs.com, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of 35 airbag-related deaths found that 25 of the victims were women between 4’7″ and 5’5″ in height. Eleven of these women had their seat positioned too close to the steering wheel when the airbag deployed.
You can reduce the possibility of airbag-related injuries by properly adjusting your seat so that you sit farther than 10 inches from the steering wheel, measured from the center of the steering wheel to your chest. If you cannot operate the vehicle in a safe and comfortable manner from this position, due to your physical dimensions, pedal extenders should be considered. Pedal extenders are after-market equipment which allow shorter drivers to sit farther back from the steering wheel and operate their vehicle safely.