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 |  Oct 10 2010, 11:13 AM

It seems just like yesterday when we heard about the first airbag being installed in an automobile. Can you believe that the airbag is celebrating its 30th anniversary? Time really flies when you’re being safe.

Did you know that the first series-production car equipped with an airbag was a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Saloon?  The company says that even before they installed the first airbag, they put a total of 13 years of research and development into the project before it ever hit the street.  And Mercedes-Benz can boast that since October 1992, a driver airbag has been standard equipment in all passenger cars they make.

Reports from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that airbags have helped to save around 28,000 lives in the United States since they were first introduced. The NHTSA also say that in a typical accident, a driver wearing his or her seatbelt in a vehicle with an airbag is 61 percent less likely to be injured than those who skip the belt in vehicles with no airbag.

But all the safety experts agree that the airbag can never be a substitute for seat belts. This safety device should be used in conjunction with a seat belt. Only then does it become an optimally coordinated system that makes a big difference to the prevention of severe or fatal injuries to the occupants during serious accidents.

Official release after the jump:

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