How Do Vehicle Airbags Work in a Car Accident?

Posted on : August 24, 2019

Airbags are a common feature in almost every vehicle manufactured today. How do they work and do they really protect you if you’re in a car accident? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Airbags Supposed to Do?

When a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, the objects inside — including passengers — continue at the same speed until something also interrupts their trajectory. An airbag is designed to do exactly that: to interrupt the forward motion of the passenger as evenly and quickly as possible.

How Fast Do Airbags Inflate?

Airbags deploy extremely quickly — they must to be able to serve their purpose. If they deflated too slowly, the passenger’s forward motion would unlikely be interrupted or affected in any way. In fact, the passenger may have already been ejected from the vehicle before the airbag inflates if it’s not fast enough. However, exactly how quickly an airbag inflates is somewhat of a surprise — between 100-220 mph in just 1/25th of a second!

Seatbelt vs. Airbags

Airbags are designed to be used in conjunction with seatbelts. Because an airbag inflates so quickly at such high speeds, they can injure or even kill a passenger not wearing a seatbelt. An airbag only cushions the face and upper chest; it does not restrain the body or slow its movement.

Are Vehicles with Side Airbags Safer Than Vehicles Without Them?

In the past, vehicles only had front airbags for the driver and the front-seat passenger. However, newer vehicles are being manufactured with side airbags. These protect the head, chest, and shoulders of passengers and are more effective for passengers in the backseat. Side airbags that did not protect the head showed no improvement in mortality rate, while side airbags that offered head protection reduced fatalities by 45%.

Are Airbags Dangerous?

With as quickly as airbags deploy at intensely high speeds, they too can pose a danger to passengers, especially those who aren’t wearing a seatbelt. However, when used in conjunction with a seat restraint, the rate and severity of injury caused by airbags is far less than injury caused by motor vehicle accidents where airbags did not deploy.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident? Get Legal Help Today

If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, it’s important that you get legal help as soon as possible. Contact Bevel | Gould Personal Injury Lawyers today for a consultation by calling (214)-580-2555.

Posted in : Gregory H. Bevel

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