Smaller adults and elderly people are generally safe in front of an air bag as long as they are properly belted, maintain a proper seating position, and move the seat as far back as possible.
Drivers concerned about achieving the recommended 10-inch distance between the air bag cover in the center of the steering wheel and their breastbone should:
Those who still cannot get far enough away from the steering wheel should consider purchasing a new vehicle equipped with adjustable pedals. If this is not possible, and the recommendations listed above don't provide a solution, then an air bag ON-OFF switch may be considered.
Front passengers: When sensing a front seat passenger of very low weight, some advanced air bag systems are designed to turn a frontal air bag off. So for a small-stature or elderly adult passenger who also happens to be of very low weight, a vehicle equipped with an advanced air bag system may minimize the risk of air bag-related injury, and installing an ON-OFF switch may be unnecessary.