Effectiveness of airbags in Australia

General Motors - Holden's Automotive (Holden) was the first Australian manufacturer to introduce a package of new safety features with the release of the VR Commodore, including a driver's side airbag. This was followed two years later with a passenger airbag, released in the VS model. These airbags, in conjunction with an improved seat belt system, have the distinction of being specifically designed for Australian driving and accident conditions and as a consequence are different to those found in vehicles designed overseas. To determine the effectiveness of these systems the investigation of a number of field accidents has been conducted. The preliminary results of this work, although not all statistically significant, are very encouraging and suggest that the airbags have had a positive effect on reducing occupant injury with few of the negative side effects that are now being identified with some foreign airbag systems.