Government Warns: Don’t Put Accessories, Add Ons, on Your Steering Wheel
We all know that although airbags are a safety feature, and one that saves lives, they are still inherently, extraordinarily dangerous items that are just feet away from your chest and our faces. And the danger of an airbag—even when it works properly—has now prompted another warning from the government.
Rhinestones on the Wheel
A lot of people like to decorate the interior of their car. There are no shortages of aftermarket companies selling decorations or add-ons that you can put on the interior of your vehicle. One of those add-ons are decorations for your steering wheel.
The most common are rhinestones, which attach to the steering wheel with adhesives. Sometimes they just go around the perimeter of the steering wheel, but others will also go on the center of the steering wheel (often where the company’s logo is affixed).
But more and more, these rhinestones (and similar items) are causing injuries to people when the car is in an accident, and especially, when the car is in an accident where the airbags deploy. That’s because the force of either one is enough to detach the rhinestones, and send them flying into the driver’s face and body.
Injuries Prompt Government Warning
This isn’t an abstract or hypothetical problem. The warning about the rhinestones, advising that rhinestones either not be affixed, or if they are, that they be removed, which came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was issued after a driver lost sight in an eye when a rhinestone flew into the driver’s face.
There are other stories of people who had rhinestones lodged into their arms, after an accident, and after deployment of the airbag.
The Dangers of an Airbag
The factory-installed manufacturer’s logo that often is in the center of the steering wheel, is put on by the factory, and especially designed to work with the airbag, ensuring that it doesn’t fly off and injure you. But the rhinestones or other add-ons you affix are not.
And when an airbag deploys at 200 miles an hour, anything on or near the airbag can cause serious injury. The bag explodes at a speed of 1/20th of a second—way faster than you can react. Side airbags expand even faster because the person’s body is closer to the side of the car.
The airbag can even break bones—a common problem when people drive with their feet and knees up on the seat. And yes, some people still do, even today, drive without a seatbelt—which makes an accident even more dangerous, because the seatbelt isn’t there to keep your body from going full force into a deploying airbag.
In some cases, if the person is not seat belted, or has items on or around the steering wheel, a deploying airbag can even be fatal.
Let us help you get compensation for your injuries if you have been in a car accident. Call the Knoxville car accident attorneys at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, for help and a free consultation today.