The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) allows vehicle owners to obtain approval to have an on-off switch installed for the driver and/or the passenger side air bags. To qualify for permission to have an on-off switch installed, you must meet the following criteria:
You cannot sit in a position allowing 10 inches between the center of the steering wheel and the center of your breastbone.
You must transport infants riding in rear-facing infant seats in the front passenger seat.
You must transport children ages 1 to 12 in the front passenger seat.
Your doctors recommend that the air bag poses a special risk to your health that outweighs the risk of hitting your head, neck or chest in a crash if the air bag is disengaged.
The majority of people do not need an on-off switch, and almost everyone older than 12 years is much safer with air bags than without them.
To use your air bag correctly, follow these tips:
Move the seat at least ten inches from an air bag and use your seatbelt every time.
Place children under 12 in the back seat.
Drive with both hands on the side of the wheel, not draped or laced, to prevent a broken arm if the air bag deploys.
Don't smoke in the car, as you could be burned if the air bag deploys.
Have the air bag inspected every ten years.
Replace the air bag after it is deployed.