In the event of an automobile collision, airbags are a valuable and effective safety feature, preventing countless deaths and injuries each year. However, without understanding the workings of airbags and knowing the risks involved, your chances of being injured in an airbag-related accident could rise considerably.
Airbags are designed to deploy and inflate in fractions of a second. When an automobile crashes into either another vehicle or a stationary object, the vehicle immediately begins to decelerate. Sensors in the car notice this rapid deceleration and begin the airbag inflation process.
Once the airbag sensors are notified of a collision, electricity is sent into a heating element in the propellant. A chemical reaction ensues, producing a gas that fills and inflates the airbag. Once the airbag is fully inflated, the gas begins to cool, allowing the airbag to deflate slightly, which should cushion the impact of an individual on the airbag. This entire process is designed to take place in less than 1/20 of a second.
Most accidents involving airbags occur either when an airbag does not properly inflate, or when an individual is inappropriately situated in a vehicle. An airbag is designed to work WITH a seatbelt, not as an alternative to a seatbelt. If an individual is not wearing a seatbelt when an airbag deploys, they will most likely hit the airbag during the inflation process, before it has had a chance to deflate, which increases the likelihood of facial injuries.
Also, adults can oftentimes incur broken bones if they are leaning against a dashboard or side door, or if they have their feet up on the dashboard the moment an airbag deploys. To prevent these injuries, adults should be properly restrained with a seatbelt, keeping their legs in front of them in the car, with their hands rested somewhere in their lap. Also, driver and passenger seats should be moved as far back as possible to avoid impact with the airbag during the airbag’s inflation process.
Children under the age of 13 should never be seated in the front of a vehicle, but always safely secured in the back seat, using a child safety seat if necessary. Children sitting in the front seat of a car could be fatally injured in the event of an accident, as they are not tall enough to avoid the airbag coming into direct contact with their head.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective airbag, contact the Stevens Point airbag defects lawyers at the law firm of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today at 1- 800-248-0171 to arrange a consultation.