driving on the road

Is It Illegal to Drive a Car Without Airbags? FAQs – Part 1

There is a reason that car manufacturers have included airbags in the default design of cars. Over 1 million people die each year as a result of car accidents. This is why the need for having working airbags in a vehicle is of utmost importance. While there is no question that driving a car without airbags is extremely unsafe, is it possible to still drive without airbags? 

This is going to be a two-part article series that will discuss the need to make sure that your car’s airbags are functioning the way they are intended to. If you drive, it’s important you know about airbags and whether or not it’s legal to drive without them. Keep reading to learn more!

Is It Illegal to Drive a Car Without Airbags? FAQs – Part 1

If you own a car that does not have airbags (if the airbags have already been deployed in a previous accident or crash), you should seriously have your car checked and have the airbags reinstalled. Here are a few answers to FAQs you may have in mind:

Will I be able to drive without airbags?

If your question is about the car being able to move even without airbags, the answer is yes. Airbags have nothing to do with the engine and overall functionality of the car, so technically you will still be able to drive your car even without airbags. However, would you really want to take that risk?

Is driving without airbags illegal?

There are many laws, both state and federal, that govern the operation of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with airbags as a safety feature. While there are no laws that specifically state that it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle that doesn’t have airbags, there are specific federal laws that say that it is not allowed to remove or modify the airbags in a motor vehicle.

In the 1990s, there were still some cars being manufactured that did not have the airbag safety feature. This is one of the reasons why there is no specific written rule about driving vehicles without airbags. Since 1999, though, airbags have been added as a standard safety feature on all manufactured vehicles. As a result, the rules and regulations concerning airbags have been updated.

What are the federal laws about airbags?

There are specific federal laws that state that every car manufactured after 1999 is required to have an airbag safety system that is factory-installed. If it needs to be replaced, it must be done by a licensed technician who specializes in the replacement of airbags. Depending on where you are from, there may be more laws that govern the use of airbags and other safety features in vehicles.

Can airbags affect insurance premiums?

In many cases, the safety features that a vehicle has may affect the amount that the owner pays in car insurance. This is because the risk profile of the owner may rise because the overall safety of the vehicle may be compromised if the airbags are removed or are not working properly. This is why it is of utmost importance that a driver ensures that all their vehicle’s safety features are full functional when they apply for an insurance policy.


There are a great many reasons why driving in a car that has no airbags is inadvisable. Apart from it being extremely unsafe, there are a number of state and federal laws that strictly prohibit driving without airbags. 

If you are in need of airbag or seat belt repair services, contact Safety Restore. We are the world’s leader in post-accident restorations specializing in seat belt repairs and airbag modules. We also provide webbing replacements and instrument cluster repairs. Contact us today and have a safer driving experience!

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