Since 1998, front driver and passenger airbags are required equipment in all cars and trucks sold in America. Airbags save thousands of lives every year, protecting drivers and their passengers from colliding with the steering wheel, dashboard, and even door of their vehicles. Some statistics say airbags can reduce the risk of dying in a direct frontal crash by 30%.
Today, some cars have eight or even 10 airbags. eTags found out that airbags inflate in about 20 to 30 milliseconds and have three different components. These include the fabric bag itself, an inflation module, and impact sensor. The goal of airbag is to slow passengers’ forward motion.The technology behind this car equipment is similar to the one of some rocket boosters.
But since airbags deploy with a lot of force, they can also hurt the driver. For example, sitting to close to one can result in burns. Not wearing a seatbelt can also add to likelihood of injury. Children can get seriously hurt by passenger airbags, because they’re smaller in size so force is even more powerful. Even in their rear-facing child safety seats, since the airbag can strike the back of the seat.
Eye injuries are also possible since that part of the body is practically positioned to most likely to receive the strongest part of the impact once airbag deploys. This can include a black eye, bleeding, even corneal abrasions. Plus, it can get worse for someone who wears glasses. Wearing a seat belt helps prevent this type of injury as well as keeping seats about 10 inches back from steering wheel.
Teeth can chip too or even break, due to force of deployment. The truth is that airbags are meant for the average person. If you’re taller, you can hit the airbag with your chest which can cause broken ribs. If you’re overweight, you can get trapped in the seat once bag is deployed.
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There’s also airbag malfunction to think about as many automakers including Toyota and Honda have recalled their vehicles for safety checks. If they don’t deflate, they can suffocate passengers or crush them. Of course, all these scenarios are the rare exceptions, after all every vehicle these days is outfitted with several airbags.