"My daughter rear-ended someone," says Russo (not his real name). "Amazingly, she is alright but her chest hit the steering wheel, which knocked the wind out of her and bruised her ribs. Had the airbags deployed, that wouldn't have happened."
His 21-year-old daughter was very shaken up but also very lucky to be alive. "It was her fault - she tried to slow down but her foot hit the gas instead of the brake and she drove into the back of a truck," explains Russo. The Toyota only had 27,000 miles--the insurance company deemed the car totaled.
"I saw the car in the junkyard and I was surprised-- and happy--that she came away from it all unscathed," says Russo. "Of course she may have recurring injuries. My insurance company didn't make an issue out of it but I don't know what their investigation will do. My daughter said the driver of the truck wasn't hurt, thank God. But it was a close call."
According to the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS), frontal air bags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe frontal collisions. The ACTS brochure states the following:
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Robert Russo saw that the Toyota Forerunner was collapsed "like an accordion" and it was a write-off, meaning his daughter hit the truck with considerable force. You'd think the crash sensors would activate the airbags on such an impact.