Watch This And You’ll Never, Ever Consider A Car Without Airbags

If you haven’t had a crash course (no pun intended) in airbag safety lately, then watching the following video might make you weary of getting behind the wheel of an older car.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of vehicles on the road world wide that don’t have any airbags, not even for the driver. We’re not talking classic cars either, just old, budget-friendly compact or family cars, most of which were built before this life-saving technology became the norm.

One might be surprised to see cars on the road that don’t have this very important safety measure; after all, airbags have been around since the 1970s, right? However, they were initially the privilege of high-end models and it took some time for the legislation to make them compulsory: in the U.S. for example, automakers were legally obliged to have a driver and a passenger airbag only in the late 1990s.

Of course today is a whole different story, as automakers are fighting among themselves for the title of the safest possible car. From side curtain airbags to knee airbags and even seatbelt airbags, as long as you’re driving a modern vehicle, then you’re very well protected.

As for how a frontal collision in a modern car versus an older one that doesn’t have airbags looks, the footage below really puts things into perspective.


  • Ilbirs

    Blame just the airbag absence or we must also consider buying a car which structure doesn’t collapse in a collision? There are some zero-star ratings of airbag-equipped cars that we must remember, in all of them happening the horrific spectacle of a roof bending, an A-pillar deforming, the floorpan ripping apart and all other things showing us that this cabin isn’t a survival cell.

    • brn

      Exactly. I wouldn’t buy a car without airbags, but this video is crap.

  • TheBelltower

    Perhaps if the A pilar didn’t collapse, then that would help. I don’t think an airbag would help anyone in this car.

  • hyper

    Something tells me that even with an airbag, it still wouldn’t help.

  • SamuraiJack

    I get the message they’re trying to get across, and yes, of course an airbag would increase your chances of surviving a crash, but they’re ignoring a lot of variables here.
    When the steering wheel touches the back of your headrest, you’re in trouble, no matter how many airbags you have. They are comparing a horribly unsafe Proton to the safest cars you can buy today, which is not really a fair comparison. A 30 year old airbagless Mercedes E200 would outperform a brand new Datsun Go any day of the year.

    What they should have shown is one model that is available with and without airbags so that you can see exactly what difference the airbag really makes. (But that wouldn’t have been as impressive)

    • Miknik

      You can check Latin NCAP and compare chrash test of some developing market cars with or without airbag, The airbag alone is good for a 3 – 4 star improvement, given the body structure remains stable, which is kind of a basic requirement. Shame on car makers that still offer cars that collapse at regular NCAP crash tests

  • Shobin Drogan

    Unfair to compare 2 completely different cars with different structural integrity and older cars even lack seat belt tensioners. Do the test again with similar cars and let’s see the results.

  • Jay

    As if we have much of a choice now a days with new model cars…

  • dj_aris

    What would happen if the airbags weren’t deployed in a brand new car (ie due to malfunction / sensor error)? That would be an nice test. Also, how do we know that in a 5 or 10-year old car the airbags still work? I mean, you do get the warning lights on the dash, but assuming everything looks ok, does it ACTUALLY work?

  • Mind Synthetic

    Pffftt, drive a miata daily, no airbag will save you there.

  • R55

    So you’re telling me to sell up my Mk1 MX5 1990 because it hasn’t got airbags, to get a Honda Jazz?

    Helllllll no!

  • Braddo

    They show the Proton Jumbuck which i think from memory had one of the worst crash results of a modern car. I think it was actually THE worst in Australian crash standards…
    Not really a fair comparison.

  • Spyderdrifter

    Lets forget that the cars shown with no airbags, also have no crumple zones. Even a new car that has the airbags removed, or deactivated wouldn’t shove a the dash into the driver’s face because there’s a crumple zone to take the impact. Good job ANCAP…. (not)

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