When I was in high school, I really wanted to learn how to drive, but it seemed impossible. As a 4’5 young lady, I knew that regular driving instructors wouldn’t be equipped to help me out. I figured I’d have to buy a car and get it outfitted specially for me then learn how to drive, and of course, buying a car when you’re a high school student seems downright impossible. When I finally did learn how to drive, it seemed like a dream come true. But then I learned a little something about driving as a Little Person. It turns out that even with pedal extenders, I have to sit super close to the steering wheel. You can see my set-up in this picture.
So, the problem with this is that if my airbag deploys, which it does with a lot of force, it can seriously injure me or even kill me. This means a simple fender bender could be enough to change my life forever.
I am an action sort of person, so when I learned all of this I asked what I could do about it. I of course wanted to see if I could deactivate the airbag. I talked to my car dealer and did some research, and essentially, it is extremely difficult to get someone to deactivate the airbag because of liability issues, as you might suspect. Change needs to come from higher up.
With that in mind, I have started a petition at change.org. I’m targeting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because they have tried to work on this issue in the past. Maybe with some signatures behind them they’ll be able to get the job done. At the very least, I’d like to open up the conversation. I feel I and people like me should be able to drive without fear.
If you agree, please sign my petition. If you really agree, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could help spread the word. Thank you!