A study released by the National Transportation Safety Board this week revealed that airbags installed in small planes make flights safer.
The study also found that there is no evidence that airbags give rise to additional injuries in plane crashes, as some opponents have argued.
The use of airbags in general aviation planes was approved in 2003, but only about 7,000 small planes currently in use in the U.S. have been equipped with the safety devices, NTSB officials said. Unlike automobiles, there is no law in place requiring planes be equipped with airbags.
The NTSB study analyzed data from 88 crashes that occurred between 2006 and 2009 involving small planes equipped with airbags. The study's findings revealed that 12 people survived the crashes and two people suffered less severe injuries due to the deployment of the airbags.
There wasn't a single instance of an airbag failing to deploy or deploying accidentally in non-crash situations.