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The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Indicates that Knee Airbags are Ineffective at Preventing Injuries

August 15, 2019

UNITED STATES – According to an online article at, the benefits of knee airbags are overstated, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).*

Airbags have been commonplace in cars for about 3 decades and while they initially began as a feature of safety for motorists, they have started to be installed in various areas of the vehicle.  These additional airbags include front passenger, curtain airbags, and side-impact airbags.  

One increasingly popular type of airbag that is being installed in vehicles is a knee protection airbag. This deploys from the lower dashboard area to prevent a person’s knees from being injured in a serious accident.  Notwithstanding, an IIHS report provides that the benefits of knee airbags may be overstated. 

To determine whether knee airbags actually prevent injuries to the knees and legs as well as control a person’s bodies during an accident to avoid injuries, the IIHS examined date from over 400 crash tests as well as reports from actual traffic accidents. 

What the IIHS determined was that there was not a significant difference in having knee airbags versus not having them. According to actual crash data, knee airbags only decreased the likelihood of injury by less than 1% (0.5% to be exact).  In some circumstances, knee airbags actually increased the probability of experiencing injuries to the legs.

"There are many different design strategies for protecting against the kind of leg and foot injuries that knee airbags are meant to address," says an IIHS senior research engineer in a statement. "Other options may be just as, if not more, effective."

In light of IIHS’s findings, it begs the question as to why automobile manufactures go through the expense and trouble to install knee airbags.  The HIS believes that the reason for this is because knee airbags may be more effective for those who do not wear a seatbelt, which would be incredibly dangerous in and of itself. The IIHS did not test for this because crash test dummies that they use to analyze accident results always wear their seatbelts.

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* This blog is intended to provide the public with news concerning serious automobile accidents and related stories. Although we are receiving this information from news organizations, initial reports may be different from conclusions reached by law enforcement personnel and other organizations, upon further investigation. Therefore, the accuracy of the content is not guaranteed. The information published here is based on information that has already been reported by a news organization, or other sources, and we cannot and do not assume responsibility for its accuracy. The source that we utilized at the time is provided above. If this posting pertains to you or your family and you do not wish for it to be on our website, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to remove it, but when doing so, please include a link to the the article that you wish to be taken down.

Category: Accident News

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