Pedal Extenders Great Falls MT
Great Falls, MT
Great Falls, MT
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Great Falls, MT
Alternatives to Deactivating your Airbags
By Sandra Kinsler
Airbags save lives and should not be deactivated. There are very few exceptions to this rule. When you have a car with no back seat, children in their safety seats can be put in front with a deactivated bag. If the driver is unable to sit 10" or more away from the steering wheel, the airbag can be deactivated but there is another -- safer -- choice.
For people who are unable to sit more than 10" from the steering wheel, there is at least one option to get you there. You can install "Pedal Extenders" which will add extra inches to the gas, brake and clutch pedals making it possible for the driver to sit back from the steering wheel while still comfortably reaching the pedals.
Pedal Extenders are inexpensive cast aluminum attachments that go on top of the existing pedals to increase their height. You can put them on yourself as they attach with wing nuts (so they can also be easily removed to allow a taller driver to drive the vehicle in comfort). No need to go to a dealership, no matter what they tell you -- though you can certainly get them there.
Pedal Extenders cost about $40.00 each (plus tax and delivery) and are made for the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals. They fit most cars. If you have an unusual car, and live in the region, they will make custom extenders for $95.00 each. This requires bringing your vehicle to them.
Pedal Extenders can be ordered from Adaptive Driving Systems at (818) 998-1026. They are located at 21050 Superior Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311.
Expect the Pedal Extenders and the distance from the steering wheel to feel unnatural for a time. After driving close to the wheel for many years, driving with arms fully extended may take a bit of adjustment. The pedals may also feel different because they will have more bulk and weight. Be patient with the discomfort as it will likely pass in a short period of time.
This alternative should be considered seriously before deactivating an airbag.
Airbags save many more lives than they harm. In fact, there have only been 87 airbag deaths since 1991 -- over half of them were children sitting in the front seat -- and in many cases the drivers were not wearing their seatbelts. Airbags are designed to be used in conjunction with a seatbelt, not alone. (The National Highway Safety Administration says that over 60% of all drivers in the U.S. still don't wear their seatbelts.) There is actually relatively little chance of being harmed by an airbag deployment. But there is a big chance of being involved in a life-threatening accident. It is much better to get a few bruises from an airbag deployment than to be either maimed or lose your life in an accident.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agrees that Pedal Extenders should be tried before considering disconnection of the driver's side airbag. Expect insurance companies to consider disconnected airbags negatively in their rate structures. What each state allows will be differen...