Children have to be a certain height and weight to sit in the front seat because an air bag could kill them otherwise


What is the meaning of “otherwise” here? Does it mean “if not” or " in all other ways"/apart of from that"?
For me, I don’t think it meaning the first one.(if not).

The sentence is a little clumsy, but “otherwise” here means, “if they were less than the specified height and weight and sat in the front seat [and the air bag deployed].”

Thank you so much indeed. I have also released the absurdity of this sentence; however, I wouldn’t dare to say that because I have quoted this sentence for a native English speaker.

Thus, you think that “otherwise” shouldn’t have been used.

" . . . an air bag could kill them if they sat there" might be better. It’s a complicated thought and might be expressed differently. “Otherwise” gets the point across, especially if this is speech, but it isn’t clear, as it isn’t evident which condition or conditions must be otherwise.

Content edited

But what’s wrong with this “otherwise”? It cannot be placed at the end of a sentence like this? I’m asking because I tend to use “otherwise” in cases just like the one above.

Although I am still confused, I would really like to thank you all of you very much indeed for your participation in this humble question of mine.
All what I have been knowing about “otherwise” is as follows: [we can us ‘otherwise’ and ‘or else’ to give warnings], for instance, "slope it downwards.Otherwise, the rain water won’t run off.
Are there other usages of it? Could you please give me the rule/base of those usages as I supported above, which is between brackets, if there are?
Thus, I think that sentence would have been written either as follows: “Children have to be a certain height and weight to sit in the front seat otherwise, an air bag could kill them.”
or as "Children have to be a certain height and weight to sit in the front seat. Otherwise, an air bag could kill them.

customic, the problem with “otherwise” here is that it could be applied to two circumstances and their combinations, but precisely which it actually does refer to is not clear. It does NOT mean, for instance, that if a child sits in the back seat he may be killed by an air bag, but the sentence could be read that way.

acooperator, your rewording of the sentence is just fine, but put the comma after “seat” so that “otherwise” begins the clause. It seems to me that you are trying a bit too hard. Now that you have correctly realized there is a question here, just sit back and observe how otherwise is used. After a while you will become familiar with it. You might do an Internet search for examples of usage, but remember that writing on the Internet is often very informal and imprecise.