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While you may not think of them often, airbags are a remarkable safety feature. In conjunction with seatbelts, they are the most effective in preventing death in the instance of an accident. Since 1998, all vehicles are required to include front airbags for the driver and passenger. And several car brands have surpassed these standards, including eight throughout the car. These advancements are expected to save more than 3,000 lives each year. So, while you hope never to need their capabilities, you ought to thank your tucked-away airbags every time you hit the road!

Airbags are undoubtedly among the greatest invention applied to the modern vehicle. However, there are several things you ought to know about their operation to stay safe. To begin, let’s take a look at how airbags actually work.

How airbags work: 

US standards require that airbags are deployed upon a front-end collision with a barrier at speeds as little as 14mph. And their most basic goal is to stop the passenger from colliding with the hard interior of the vehicle in a crash. This is necessary because when a car is suddenly stopped, the person inside will continue to move forward. Upon its deployment, the airbag will slowly and carefully stop them and avoid serious injury.

What you should know about airbags: 

  1. You can turn them off! At times, the inherent risks of airbags are more significant than the safety they provide. That’s why they have the capability of being turned off. The conditions under which you ought to turn your airbags off include: needing to put a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat, a medical condition that would be impacted by an airbag, a driver that requires sitting very close to the steering wheel, and requiring that someone younger than 13 sit in the front seat for medical reasons.
  2. Airbags are not designed for every accident and every passenger. There are several circumstances under which your airbags will not deploy. These include minor crashes and instances in which the passenger is too small or too light of weight.
  3. Airbags are deceptively not made of air. Their technology releases potassium nitrate and sodium azide upon collision. These elements cause the bags to expand and burst from the compartments in a matter of split seconds.
  4. Airbags pose the most danger to children. The front seat should be off-limits to anyone under 13 years old, including infant restraints. When airbags eject from their compartments, a smaller person can suffocate or suffer serious injury from the quickly expanding bag. They are designed for adults, so make sure that your children are not subject to their powerful force.
  5. You should not rely on airbags alone for your protection. Airbags are made to work with your seatbelt. So, never forget to buckle up every time you take to the road!

If you are injured in a car accident and suspect the malfunction of your airbags, you might have an opportunity to file a lawsuit. However, you will need to present expert engineering and medical testimony to prove the airbags’ defective qualities and to state that you would not have otherwise been injured. If these can be acquired, you may be able to sue. Please contact us at Peach and Weathers in the case that you suspect airbag malfunction and require legal advocacy. We are prepared to provide you with expert counsel and advisement when you are injured in a car accident. 

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