On this day: 09-01-1989
Law requiring air bags is passed
The federal government passed new car safety legislation on this day, requiring all newly manufactured cars to install an air bag on the driver's side. While air bags have proven to be life-saving devices in most cases, concern over the safety of the air bags themselves arose during the 1990s. Several instances in which small children were seriously injured or killed by an air bag caused a public clamor for further investigation of the devices, which can explode out of the dashboard at up to 200mph. Air bags are still installed in all newly manufactured models.