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Airbag safety

my question relates to the knitting needle discussion except that it is far more common: what are the risks to life and limb for persons who ride with their feet on the dash where the air bag will deploy?

The solution to this, or at least a way to minimize the risk, is to use circular knitting needles (which can be substituted for any project that uses two straight needles). If you get the plastic ones, the pointy ends are fairly short, and the rest is a flexible nylon string. The chances of it being in the right position to hurt you much are really slim.

a knitter could use a jumper needle that is much safer. A jumper needle is plastic and is one long needle with points on each end. There is no non knitting end to poke the driver or whoever is sitting next to you in any situation. This is also a good option for knitting on an airplane.

I also had the idea with circular needles. Buy two sets, cut off one needle at the end of the wire on both sets. Glue on with a good flexible glue a small rubber or styrofoam ball to prevent the work from slipping off the end.
All this because some knitting jobs require two needles and won’t work with one circular one.

I have another solution - crochet! one rounded stick instead of 2 pointy sticks!

Tom and Ray wondered where they could find the definitive answer to this question. The place to look is Ravelry ( . I suggest the “Remnants” forum.

This is the same solution I was going to recommend. Plastic circular needles are short on the ends, and the circular plastic cord that connects them is very flexible. They’re ‘bendy’ rather than stiff. If an accident were to occur and the airbags were to deploy, I think it’s likely they would simply be twisted and knocked aside, or perhaps even pushed up against the body. I doubt they would impale anyone.


Nobody actually answered your question, so I guess that reading comprehension around here is just not what it used to be.

I have also wondered about this issue of people who insist on treating a car seat like a Barcalounger, and who think that it is appropriate to place one’s feet on the dashboard. So, last year, I asked my M.D. this question, and she responded that these folks would likely have their hip joints dislocated by the combined force of the violent airbag deployment and the decelerative forces pushing their body forward in a position not intended by either nature or the car manufacturer.

And, then of course, we have those auto passengers who believe that it is appropriate to put one or both of their feet out of the window while driving at high speed. While it would likely be much more effective to bathe regularly, rather than trying to dispel foot odor in this manner, the fact remains that no part of your body should be protruding from the car when it is in motion. In fact, the motor vehicle code in many states does ban practices like this.

For a real answer, contact the AORC - Automotive Occupant Restraints Council
My own opinion is that anything between the person and the airbag is potentially bad news, especially something sharp.

You can use a circular needle just like two straight needles. A circular needle is definitely the way to go. The ends are not more than 3 inches long. The rest is flexible cable. They come in all sizes.

Circular needles can be used in place of straight needles in any project (except maybe socks). I haven’t used straight needles in a good 30 years.

If I couldn’t knit during car trips I would already be starkers.

Airbags are pretty dangerous in many situations. Ridding with your feet on the dash is a good way to get your legs pushed back in a crash. If you see a front end crash coming and you brace yourself either by gripping the steering wheel or placing your hands on the dash, you can get your arms broke. Heck, having anything in your hands when the airbag deploys makes it a potential hazard to your head, including a driver texting on a cell phone as Tom and Ray are always scolding. So, anytime your around an airbag you have to remember the potential dangers and make sure you won’t be injured by them.

I was surprised that Tom and Ray didn’t suggest the caller wear a Kevlar vest. After all knitting needles propelled by airbags (also made of aramid fibers) are projectiles and what better to wear than a bullet “resistant” vest. They are available rather reasonably and sold to civilians. A used one can be had even cheaper and there may be a little souvenir included :slight_smile: Add a neck guard and face mask and click and click away to your hearts content!

Please, please, please get Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters to test this out. It would be sooooo cool!