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Airbags: Dangerous and Necessary


Few would imagine that a piece of technology meant to protect you and even save your life in the case of an auto accident could itself be a danger. But unfortunately that is the reality; while airbags, devices that can save lives when deployed properly, can also prove to be highly dangerous in some situations. If you have sustained injuries not just as a result of a car accident, but also due to the sheer force of impact of airbags upon deployment, contact an attorney to learn more about your options.

How Airbags Work

The way an airbag prevents injury is based on simple physics: slow down the motion of your body being thrust in a given direction by the force of an accident, and cushion the body’s force of collision with the interior of the vehicle.

Airbags are technological wonders, which communicate with the computer chips in your vehicle. The vehicle tells the airbag that the car’s acceleration has been slowed, or dramatically impacted, and in a fraction of a second, the airbag deploys. The car and airbag must know the difference between a hard stop, or going over a speedbump, or some other non-accident related change in the car’s velocity, as compared to actually being in an accident.

The airbag deploys as quickly and forcefully as it does, with the use of propellants, gas, or other explosive materials that are similar to that used in solid rocket boosters.

When Airbags Cause Injury

The incredible force of the airbag is needed to slow your body, and do so quickly. But that same force can cause injury when something goes wrong, such as when airbags deploy prematurely, or when they deploy when they aren’t supposed to deploy, or when they deploy too forcefully. This was a problem with Takata airbags, which were recalled when the airbags were expelled so forcefully that metal pieces were thrown into people’s faces and bodies.

Airbags can also cause injury even if they are not defective when we aren’t careful. For example, always try to align the center of the steering wheel (where most airbags deploy from) facing your chest—not your face. Seat belts can prevent your body from getting too close to the exploding airbags.

Parents who use car seats should be wary of where the car seats are in relation to the airbags. Side airbags can harm younger children, even in a car seat.

Get Professional Assistance

If you suspect that your car seat deployed improperly, or prematurely, your first instinct (after getting medical attention of course) may be to replace the airbag. However, you should have an attorney look at the deployed airbag first. Re-installing the airbag could ruin evidence you need to prove the airbag was defective or it could prevent an expert from being able to tell whether or not there was a defect.

And if you need legal advice or representation from a qualified Knoxville personal injury attorney, contact the offices of Fox, Farley, Willis & Burnette, today to schedule a free consultation.



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