Tufast, all good points. I like to use the example of the Dale Earnhardt crash. His car looked fine, yet the impact fatal. Other guys go end over end down the track and walk away. The more energy the car absorbs, the less impact to the occupants...to a degree. Low impact, low vehicle damage can do more harm to the occupants in terms of muscle and ligament damage, than high speed, car in pieces. In those high speed crashes, it is usually organ trauma that causes expiration. Sudden stop, organs keep moving in the body cavity and can essentially just rupture/explode. Same for brain trauma bouncing off the inside of the skull. Low impact, little car damage, but severe violence to occupant. A 10 MPH rear end collision has the same force produced as a 50lb. bag being dropped off a 1 story building onto your neck in terms of force per square inch.
You also make a good point about the non use of a seatbelt. It has been shown that if an airbag delpoys and the occupant is not belted, the force to the head and neck of the person moving forward, compounded by the high speed airbag coming towards you, in essence multiplies the forces placed on the person. So it makes sense to disable the system if the belt is not in use. IE 60-0 hitting the pole, plus the 160-210 MPH or greater speed of airbag deployment essentially is like 200 MPH stop for the occupant. Short stature peole are at a greater risk due to their proximity to the airbag. In fact airbag deployment can cause amputation of digits. It is a violent event. The main purpose of the bag is to prevent additional damage from the steering wheel and windshield, both of which often have fatal effects due to blunt force head trauma.
An airbag is a SUPPLEMENT, not an alternative. It is a device to help control the amplitude and magnitude of the forces produced in a collision. ALWAYS buckle up.