It’s been proven that cars with airbags are much safer in the event of a crash than those without. Now it appears that the number of fatalities of people driving SUVs involved in a side-impact collision has dropped over 50 percent for those vehicles equipped with curtain airbags.

This style of airbag is particularly safe for SUVs. In some vehicles, the airbags stay deployed long enough (roughly 3 seconds) to help protect passengers during rollover incidents. Rollovers last longer than a single side crash and may involve more than one kind of impact, so airbags and their sensors must be engineered specifically for this kind of crash.

Further, passengers in cars equipped with side airbags (mounted in the seat or door) had the chances of a fatality reduced by 30 percent compared to vehicles with none. Fortunately, roughly 80 percent of cars and SUVs that are sold feature the side mounted airbags as standard or at least as an option. In a recent article by The Detroit News quoting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2,000 deaths could be saved annually if the airbags were made compulsory.