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The Reality of Airbag Injuries: Risks Every Driver Should Know

Vehicles are equipped with numerous safety features to protect drivers and passengers in car accidents. Among these features are airbags, which deploy upon impact. While airbags are not used daily, their life-saving capabilities are often overlooked. These devices have revolutionized vehicle safety, significantly reducing fatalities and injuries in accidents. However, despite their life-saving benefits, there is a risk associated with airbags. They have the potential to cause harm to people in the line of impact.

How do airbags work?

Airbags work by deploying rapidly in the event of a collision, creating a cushioning barrier between the vehicle occupants and hard surfaces like the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. They are designed to complement seat belts by providing an additional layer of protection. When a crash occurs, sensors in the vehicle detect the impact and trigger the airbag system. This prompts a chemical reaction that generates a burst of nitrogen gas, inflating the airbag within milliseconds.

By absorbing some of the force of the impact, airbags help to reduce the risk of serious head, chest, and limb injuries. However, it’s important to note that improper positioning, defective airbag deployment, and other factors can also lead to airbag-related injuries.

Do airbags always deploy?

No, airbags do not always deploy in every car accident. There are several factors that can influence whether an airbag deploys during a crash. These factors include:

  • Defective airbag: If the airbag is damaged, worn out, or defective due to manufacturing issues, it may not deploy properly or at all during a crash.
  • Airbags were turned off: Some vehicles allow drivers to manually turn off the airbags, typically for specific situations such as when a child is seated in the front passenger seat. In such cases, the airbags will not deploy even in a crash.
  • Electrical problems: Issues with the vehicle’s electrical system, such as a dead battery, faulty alternator, or blown fuses, can prevent the airbags from deploying.
  • Severed wiring: Damage to the wiring that connects the airbag to the vehicle’s electrical system can disrupt the deployment process, leading to non-deployment.
  • Direction of impact: Airbags are designed to deploy based on the direction and severity of the impact. If the collision occurs at an angle or in a manner that does not meet the criteria for airbag deployment, they may not activate.
  • Defective sensors: Airbags rely on sensors to detect the severity and type of impact. If these sensors are damaged, worn out, or defective, they may fail to trigger the airbag deployment.

To ensure airbag safety, regular maintenance of your vehicle is crucial. This includes checking the sensors, power system, wiring, and the airbags themselves for any signs of damage or malfunction.

How do airbags cause injuries?

When airbags inflate during a car crash, they do so with a lot of force. This force can itself be risky for the people inside the car, especially if they’re too close to where the airbag comes out. This force is very strong and sudden.

The way airbags come out can hit the upper part of the body, like the head and chest, hard. Depending on how fast and strong the airbag is deployed, it can cause serious damage to the driver or passenger. Also, someone sitting in a strange or unsafe way, like leaning too far forward or not wearing a seat belt, are also at risk of an airbag injury.

Sometimes, the gas inside the airbag that inflates it can also make the skin it touches feel itchy or even cause an allergic reaction. So, it’s important to be in the right position, wear your seat belt, and know that airbags, while helpful, can also have risks during a crash.

Common airbag injuries

When an airbag deploys and comes in contact with a driver or passenger, the impact tends to hit around the same parts of the body, making certain areas more susceptible to an airbag injury. Some common injuries people sustain from an airbag include:

  • Fractures (broken bones): These can occur due to the forceful deployment of airbags. The rapid inflation and impact of the airbag can put significant pressure on the body, leading to fractures in areas such as the arms, hands, ribs, or facial bones if the impact is severe enough.
  • Facial injuries: Airbag deployment can cause facial injuries such as bruises, cuts, and abrasions. The impact of the airbag, especially if the person is in close proximity to the airbag at the time of deployment, can quickly result in facial trauma.
  • Burns: Airbags use a chemical reaction to inflate rapidly, and this process can generate heat. In some cases, people in the vehicle may experience minor burns or skin irritation due to the contact with the hot gases released during airbag deployment.
  • Neck and spinal injuries: The forceful deployment of airbags can also contribute to neck and spinal injuries. The sudden and forceful inflation of the airbag can put an abnormal amount of pressure on the neck and spine, potentially leading to strains, sprains, or in severe cases, spinal fractures or herniated discs.
  • Internal bleeding: The force of the airbag against the body, particularly in high-speed collisions, can result in blunt force trauma to internal organs, leading to bleeding that may require immediate medical attention.

If you’ve been hurt, talk to an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer

In Mobile, Alabama, car accidents can cause serious injuries – sometimes from the safety features we rely on to protect us. Victims of airbag injuries often face substantial medical bills due to the severity of their injuries. Ambulance fees, hospital visits, treatments, physical therapy, and more can all add up fast. At Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, we know you don’t deserve this financial burden and can fight on your behalf.

Victims of airbag injuries deserve to be fully compensated for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to advocating for the rights of car accident victims throughout Alabama, and ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve to cover present and future accident-related damages.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving airbag deployment, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation. We are here to provide the legal support you need every step of the way. Our office is conveniently located in Mobile.

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