Q: Are air bags really that unsafe? I'm one of those short people that sits close to the steering wheel, is it as dangerous as I've heard. Jane J.

A: This is a very hot topic in regards to personal safety. The purpose of the air bag is to protect the occupant in case of a relatively severe frontal accident. The engineers had to design a bag type device that fully deploys in a fraction of a second and cushion an impact with the dash or steering wheel. We have heard of the unusual but tragic accidents that have injured or killed people in air bag equipped vehicles. I can not explain or defend those cases and am truly sorry for anyone involved, but I feel used properly they can protect you as designed. You have to wear your seat belt and have it adjusted properly then if an accident occurs you will be in the proper position for the air bag deployment. You may receive minor injuries, fabric burns from the bag's cover, but otherwise you probably didn't know it went off.