RHL School

Reading Comprehension
Volume 2, Number 14, May 27, 1997

The Deadly Life Saver

     When a family climbs into a vehicle to go on a trip or even a short
ride, it’s important that every one is as safe as possible. We know that
terrible accidents can occur. That’s why devices like seat belts and air
bags have been invented  and put into cars, vans, and trucks.
     Unfortunately, devices that are meant to save lives can be a threat
to life. The air bag is such a device. Air bags were designed to inflate
rapidly in an accident. They were designed to stop an average adult
male who didn’t bother to fasten his seat belt from smashing into or
through the front of a car. Therefore, they inflate at approximately 200
miles per hour. An air bag is not a soft cushion. It delivers a blow that
can seriously injure or kill a child or small adult. Air bags can be
beneficial, but you must know and account for the dangers.
     Children should not sit in the front passenger seat of a vehicle that
has a passenger side air bag. It’s especially dangerous to put an infant
who must use a rear facing car seat in the front of such a vehicle.
     Children are always safer in the back seat. The center rear seat is
best. And of course, all passengers should use their seat belts. Take
your example from race car drivers.  They know how to increase their
chances of surviving a crash.
     The day will come when vehicles are equipped with “smart” air bags
that automatically adjust their force to the size and weight of a
passenger. But for now, each of us has to be smart about these
imperfect “life savers”.

 True or False?

If the article supports the statement, answer True.
If the article does not support the statement, answer False.

1.  Air bags can prevent accidents.
2.  Air bags kill more people than they save.
3.  Adult males do not need to use a seat belt.
4.  An air bag might save an adult’s life.
5.  An air bag might kill an adult.
6.  Children are safer in the back seat than in the front.
7.  Race car drivers use air bags instead of seat belts.
8.  Air bags will become safer in future vehicles.

Copyright 1997 RHL