When a car’s airbag deploys during a collision, it quickly pops out of the dashboard, which may cause injury. Furthermore, it will also be hot and coated in dust and chemicals, which can provoke a person’s allergies. It’s undeniable that airbags save lives and keep passengers safe in most cases; however, they can also cause physical harm.
Continue reading to learn how airbags function.
The Science Behind Airbags
The driver’s airbag is inside the steering wheel, whereas the passenger’s airbag is situated behind a panel on the dashboard. Although manufacturers make them from light fabric, the speed at which they deploy makes them feel heavy. The airbag is attached to a crash sensor, which will deploy it if the car gets into a severe crash (usually above 10 mph). Airbags also deflate almost as fast as they deploy, but since they release chemicals, they can irritate a person’s eyes and skin.
Ironically, the same device that’s meant to prevent injuries and save lives can send people to the hospital. In today’s blog, we will discuss how airbags can cause injuries.
Potential Risks of Airbag Deployment
The most common airbag deployment error is a malfunctioning crash sensor. Here’s a list of things that can go awry with the sensors:
- The sensor might malfunction and deploy the airbag at the improper time (such as when a person is sitting in traffic, and the airbag randomly pops out)
- The sensor might only deploy one airbag, but not the other
- The sensor deploys the airbag a microsecond too late
- The sensor fails to deploy the airbag
Because the timing of an airbag deployment is crucial, if it pops out even a fraction of a second too early, it can result in injuries. Moreover, the distance of the driver’s or passenger’s heads to the airbags also matters, but it’s a factor outside of a passenger’s control.
Most Common Airbag-Related Injuries
A malfunctioning crash sensor can cause life-threatening injuries. Here are some of the potential risks:
- Airbags can cause eye injury
- The chemicals released upon deployment might irritate your lungs and airways, triggering an asthma attack (or worsening pre-existing asthma)
- The acceleration at which the airbag deploys can result in abrasions or burns
Although it’s difficult to determine the distance between you and your airbag, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that drivers sit ten inches away from their steering wheel.
What Can I Do If My Airbags Malfunction?
If your car’s airbags malfunction, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim. You will need to prove that some components of the airbag were defective when it left the manufacturer or designed in an unreasonably dangerous way.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
An airbag should never be defective, and one of the worst situations you can face is getting into a car crash without one. If you’ve suffered injuries due to a defective airbag, one of the experienced defective equipment injury attorneys from Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you receive damages.
You may be eligible to receive compensation from the airbag or car manufacturer. We advise and represent clients throughout Utah County and West Jordan. Schedule your free case evaluation today.