Airbags are vital to driver and passenger safety. They protect us from hitting any hard surface or object in the vehicle’s interior, essentially keeping us alive. As a result, most automobiles nowadays now come with at least two front airbag units as standard. In fact, most countries even require it in all vehicles by law.

However, airbags are not mandated by law everywhere in the world. There are still some places where airbags are optional, or only offered on higher-end variants. One such region is Latin America where the Mitsubishi L200, or Strada as we know it locally, is offered with no airbags at all.

Wondering how that would fare in a crash? Well, the Latin NCAP recently crash-tested the popular Mitsubishi pickup, and the results were as expected: bad. Without airbags, the driver and passenger collided with the truck’s hard interior panels. Specifically, you can see the dummy’s head hitting the steering wheel hard due to the lack of an airbag which would have softened the blow.

The result? The Latin NCAP gave the pickup truck zero stars for adult occupant safety and two stars for child safety. Fortunately, the Latin America-spec Strada will be getting front driver and passenger airbags as standard come 2020.

This crash test shows why airbags are important image

For comparison, the same pickup truck fitted with numerous airbags, stability control, ABS, and other safety features scored a five-star rating in the Australian NCAP. Furthermore, the Strada offered by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines locally also comes with a host of safety features as standard.

The range-topping GT variant even adds Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Hill Descent Control, and a Forward Collision Mitigation system. As such, you won’t have to worry about getting badly injured or possibly even dying after getting into an accident.

So the next time you plan on buying a car, make sure it comes with airbags at the very least. Sure you can joke around saying “real men don’t need airbags”, but it can save your life when you need it. As the famous saying goes "It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it".