Site icon Venture jolt

Understanding Airbag Deployment and Potential Injuries

Airbags are probably not the first vehicle safety feature you think of when it comes to your car since that spot typically belongs to seat belts—which you buckle into every time you get into a car, no matter which seat you choose. However, airbags are just as important as seat belts despite the latter being at the forefront of our minds more often. That being said, airbags can also cause potential injuries as well.

To help you stay safer on the road, this article will discuss where your airbags are located and when they may deploy to aid in understanding uncommon airbag injuries and how to avoid them. This understanding will hopefully make your future road trips just a bit easier, as you’ll be able to understand better how your car protects you and keeps you safe in the event of an accident.

Locating Your Airbags

Before you start driving, it’s a good idea to understand where your airbags are so you’re not surprised when they deploy and to make yourself aware of where replacements would need to go.

There are two types of airbags to discuss: those on the front and those on the sides. Front airbags are designed to protect both the driver and the passenger during a crash. By inflating, they provide a soft cushion that increases the time it takes for your head to slow down while absorbing the force of the impact.

To better understand this concept, consider the frontal airbags to be like an inflatable landing pad for your face, neck, and torso. They are typically located in the steering wheel and near the glove box. Some vehicles have an additional airbag under the steering wheel to protect your knees during a crash.

Not all vehicles have side airbags, but many of them do, especially more modern models. While front airbags are designed to prevent you from hitting your head on the steering wheel, side ones are intended to protect you from side impacts such as hitting the window—deploying between your head and the window and/or between your chest and the car door.

These will not only protect you from slamming into the side of your car but may also provide a shield between you and the broken window.

Deploying Them

You may have noticed that airbags don’t deploy all of the time. For example, if you have to stop a bit harder than normal, your airbags likely won’t deploy, so how can you be sure they’ll do so when you need them?

Vehicles have a computing system inside that checks for specific variables to be met, some of which may include whether you or your passenger are wearing a seatbelt. Once these conditions are met, a signal is sent to an inflator component, which begins the process. An igniter is then activated, and a chemical process begins, which creates a harmless gas that inflates the airbags quickly, usually less than 1/20 of a second.

While we’ll discuss how to avoid airbag injuries a bit later, this rapid deployment is the reason why you need to be aware of their location in your vehicle. This kind of force can potentially cause serious damage, so you need to ensure you’re at the proper distance from all airbags to prevent them. Crashes are too chaotic and fast for you to wait until one happens to give the airbags the clearance they need.

Looking at Common Injuries

Airbags will prevent you and your passengers from hitting the dashboard or glove box at high speeds. However, they can still cause a few different types of injuries, and understanding the differences between each of them will help give you an idea of what to expect should they ever be deployed.

The airbags themselves and the chemicals used for inflation can cause skin or eye irritation. While we’ll discuss avoiding airbag injuries in the next section, which will minimize the chances of some of the other injuries we’ll mention from occurring, the only way to prevent this irritation is to prevent the airbags from deploying, which is dangerous in its own right.

Since the frontal airbags are designed to protect your head, it tends to be expected that you will slam your face into them. Various facial injuries, such as bruising, can occur as a result and may be worse if you wear glasses, as the impact would forcibly press them into your face. This forward impact could also cause serious chest injuries, from a few bruises to a potentially broken bone or heart injury.

The same chemicals that irritate your eyes could also trigger a myriad of negative respiratory responses, from sneezing or coughing to an asthma attack. A few other potential injuries include ear damage and various broken bones, such as skull or wrist fractures. Luckily, there are ways to decrease your risk of airbag injury.

Preventing Injury

The best way to prevent airbag injuries is always to wear your seatbelt when in a vehicle. Your car’s safety features were designed with each other in mind, and the seatbelt will not only decrease your chances of hitting the airbag. Still, it will also put distance between yourself and the airbag, which could prevent you from being injured as it deploys.

Speaking of this distance, you’ll want to try and leave at least ten inches between your body and the center of the steering wheel. You should also adjust your seat to be as far from the steering wheel as possible. However, you still need to be able to see out the windshield, reach the pedals, and control the steering wheel comfortably.

Airbags can be dangerous to young children, so rear-facing car seats and all children under the age of twelve must be sitting in the back seat with their seatbelts on. If you notice the airbag maintenance light stays on for more than ten seconds or is blinking, then you need to take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. The same applies to when the airbags have been deployed, as they are for one-time use only.

Staying Protected, Even In An Accident

Yes, airbags can cause injuries, and some of them can be fatal, but it’s just as important to recognize the good they’ve done. Airbags have saved tens of thousands of lives since they were first introduced and required in vehicles. There’s no need to be afraid of them; you need to be aware of the possible risks of their deployment.

If you’re ever injured by an airbag in an accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. They may be able to help you prove the airbag caused them and get you compensated accordingly.

Exit mobile version