How Serious Does a Collision Have To Be for Airbags to Deploy?
David Muñoz | May 31, 2023 | Car Accidents
Airbags are one of the most important and practical safety features any vehicle has to offer. If you are in a car accident, an airbag will keep your body from colliding with parts of the vehicle, including the dashboard, steering wheel, and windows.
Given the force of most accidents, an airbag could make all the difference between minor bruises and severe injuries. This post will examine how airbags function and how serious a collision needs to be for them to deploy.
Airbags and Safety
Airbags work in tandem with other components in the vehicle to keep occupants safe. They work best when used with seat belts and will deploy in crashes ranging from moderate to severe. Most modern vehicles include front and side airbags, although only front airbags are legally required in every vehicle.
In the event of an accident, the vehicle’s electronic control unit determines how many airbags to deploy. Once it makes a decision, it sends a signal to the vehicle’s igniter, which releases a gas that quickly inflates the airbags it has determined should be deployed.
Airbags are designed to deploy quickly. This means they can deploy before you realize anything has happened. Unfortunately, the speed and ferocity with which they can deploy can result in injury if specific safety practices are not adhered to. To render your airbags as effective as possible, follow these safety tips.
Wear a Seat Belt
Airbags are designed to work in tandem with seat belts. That means you can be injured by the airbag if you are not wearing a seat belt. That’s because the force of the crash could send your body into the airbag, which is being deployed with its own force. Together, these forces could severely damage certain areas of your body.
It is recommended that all drivers maintain at least ten inches of space between their bodies and the steering wheel. This gives the airbag enough room to deploy without potentially injuring the face, neck, or chest.
Airbags Deploy Once
Once an airbag deploys, it will need to be replaced by a certified technician. Do not attempt this repair yourself or drive the vehicle without an airbag, as a collision without an airbag could be fatal. If you are in the process of having your car repaired after an accident, talk to the technician about replacing the airbags as well.
Kids Should Ride in the Backseat
Front airbags can cause serious harm to children under 13 years of age, which is why it is recommended to have them sit in the backseat. If a crash occurs while they are in the backseat, they will be protected by the side airbags, which do not jettison outwards in the same manner as frontal airbags.
Unfortunately, sometimes following all the safety procedures is not enough. That’s because airbags can be defective or fail.
Airbags do not deploy in every crash. In the event of a minor crash, the airbags will likely not deploy. Fortunately, bodily damage in these types of crashes can be mitigated by wearing a seat belt.
If the airbag is defective, it might not deploy during a moderate to severe crash as intended. This can put you and the occupants of your vehicle at serious risk. If you are in a situation where this happens, it is important to know that you have options for recourse, such as hiring a qualified attorney.
Now that you know more about how airbags deploy, you can ensure you are better prepared in the event of a crash.
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