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Officials warn against bedazzling your steering wheel

There have been multiple instances of rhinestones becoming projectiles when the steering wheel's air bag deploys.
Officials warn against bedazzling your steering wheel
Posted at 9:40 AM, Nov 07, 2023

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a warning this week that says car owners should not bedazzle their steering wheels, saying they "could potentially cause significant injury or death."

The NHTSA issued the alert after a driver had a serious injury that resulted in the loss of sight in one eye. The NHTSA said the rhinestones dislodged from the steering wheel during an accident, hitting the driver in the face. 

The NHTSA said that the force of air bags deploying can turn rhinestones into projectiles during accidents. 

"Unlike the permanently affixed logo on your vehicle’s steering wheel, these aftermarket decals can easily become dislodged when the air bag is deployed. Any alterations or changes to your air bag or its cover can also cause it to not function correctly," the NHTSA said. 

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Additionally, the NHTSA encourages drivers to remove such decals from their steering wheels if already installed.

Last year, a Florida woman reportedly was injured by rhinestones that became a projectile during a crash. She told WTLV in Jacksonville that doctors found a rhinestone emblem from her steering wheel stuck in her arm. 

"I just want 16- and 17-year-old girls that are going out and getting new cars and buying all this cute little bedazzle stuff for their car not to put nothing on their steering wheel," Browning told WTLV.

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