How Airbags Can Cause Injuries in Car Accidents

While the benefits of airbags far outweigh the risks, airbags can sometimes cause injuries in a car accident.

Airbags are designed to protect both drivers and passengers in the event of a car accident. However, airbags can sometimes cause injuries when they deploy in an accident.

The benefits of airbags, including a reduction in the number of deaths and injuries in car accidents, is well documented. However, it is important to remember that airbags are not foolproof and can, at times, cause injuries in an accident.

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airbags deployed in a car accident

How Airbags Work

In a nutshell, airbags are designed to deploy in the event of a collision, providing a cushion that protects passengers from being injured by the impact. Here’s a more detailed look at how airbags work.

Airbags are most commonly triggered by sensors that are mounted on the front and sides of the vehicle. These sensors detect when the vehicle has come to a sudden stop, and they send a signal to the airbag control module. This module then determines whether or not to deploy the airbags.

In some cases, the decision to deploy the airbags is based on the severity of the impact. For example, if the sensor detects a minor collision, the airbags may not deploy. However, if the sensor detects a more severe collision, such as one that results in a significant deceleration, the airbags will deploy.

Airbags are typically filled with nitrogen. When an airbag deploys, this gas is released into the bag, causing it to inflate rapidly. The inflation process is carefully controlled so that the bag doesn’t deploy too early or too late. In addition, the amount of inflation is also carefully regulated. If an airbag is deployed with too much force, it could cause injuries itself. Therefore, manufacturers have to strike a delicate balance between protecting passengers from being injured by an impact and protecting them from being injured by an airbag.

It’s also worth noting that airbags are designed to deploy only once, so after they have deployed, they need to be replaced.

Types of Airbags:

1. Driver’s Front Airbag

This is the airbag people generally think of when they picture an airbag. The driver’s front airbag is usually located in the center of the steering wheel and is typically designed to deploy in a frontal collision. The airbag helps protect the driver by providing a cushion between the driver and the steering wheel or dashboard.

2. Passenger’s Front Airbag

This is similar to the driver’s airbag but is located on the passenger side of the vehicle. The purpose of this airbag is to protect the passenger from being thrust forward and hitting the dashboard or windshield in a frontal collision.

3. Side Airbags

These are located in the door panels or seats and deploy during a side impact collision. They help protect the occupants from being hit by debris or hurled against the side of the vehicle.

4. Curtain Airbags

These are located along the sides of the vehicle’s roof and deploy during a rollover accident. They help protect the occupants from being ejected from the vehicle or hitting their heads on the roof or windows.

How Airbags Can Cause Car Accident Injuries

Airbags deploy at high speeds and reach high temperatures in the process. This can cause injuries such as burns and fractures. In some situations, it can lead to blunt force trauma to the chest, head, and neck, leading to severe injuries such as broken bones, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries.

Two groups of people are especially at risk of airbag injuries in a car accident: young children and the elderly. Due to their size and position in the vehicle, they may be extremely close to the airbag when it deploys, leading to severe injuries.

While airbags can be beneficial in protecting drivers and passengers, it is important to understand that they can also result in serious injuries such as burns, broken bones, whiplash, and traumatic brain injuries. To minimize your risk, it is important to follow the instructions in your vehicle’s owner manual and ensure that all in the vehicle are seated properly and wearing their seatbelts correctly.

St. Louis Car Accident Injury Lawyer

While airbags can be lifesavers, they are never fool-proof, and there is always a risk of injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident, speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your legal right to compensation is protected.

At The Hoffmann Law Firm, we have been protecting the rights of injured car accident victims in St. Louis, MO. If you have been injured, call us 24/7 for a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal rights after a car accident.

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Updated: May 2, 2023