Airbags are known as a supplementary restraint system. They are designed to protect you, along with your seat belts, in cases of crashes and accidents. Solely relying on airbags without using your seat belt is dangerous. Your frontal and side-impact airbags are designed to deploy during crashes, from minor to severe ones. However, its purpose will be defeated if the occupants are not wearing proper restraints.
While airbags are installed in every car for safety purposes, there are times when they can also cause injuries. Many factors can increase airbag-related injuries, which we will discuss in the next paragraphs.
What Is The Intended Purpose of Air Bags?
Physics governs the world, and that includes car crashes. Newton’s first law dictates that an object which is moving at a constant velocity will keep on moving until an external force is applied to it.
When a car is moving at a certain speed, it will continue to do so, until the driver speeds up or steps on the brake. Everything in the car will move at the same speed. In the event of a crash, the car may stop or crumple up. However, everyone and everything inside will still be moving at the same speed just before the crash. That is the problem with momentum, and that is where the tandem of your airbags and seat belt step in to help.
Your seat belt is a crude way to stop you from hurtling forward. Your airbags will inflate in the event of a crash. It will then deflate once it presses against your head. It effectively stops your body from flying forward due to your body’s momentum during the collision.
When Does an Airbag Cause Injury?
The airbag was developed to help reduce injuries and casualties in car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, airbags have saved 50,457 lives from 1987 to 2017. However, according to a study titled Air Bag Crash Investigations, airbags have also caused injuries and deaths in adults, children, and infants.
In 1993, the first confirmed child fatality due to airbag deployment was recorded. It was not until 1997 when the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System started sampling on airbag-related deaths.
In most airbag-related fatalities, the occupant is usually seated in an unusual position and the path of airbag deployment.
One of the following may be true for the injured occupant in the way of airbag deployment:
- The occupant is of short stature and is seating close to the airbag.
- The occupant has fallen asleep.
- The occupant has passed out.
- The occupant was leaning towards the path of the airbag.
- The occupant was not wearing the seatbelt properly.
- The occupant was re-positioned before deployment.
In the same study by NHTSA, it was found that one of the following is true for children involved in airbag-related fatalities:
- The child was sitting on the lap of a passenger.
- The child was not using his seat belt properly.
- The child shared the same lap belt with another passenger.
- The child used a lap belt only.
- The child was not using any restraint.
What are the common airbag-related injuries?
There are many possible airbag-related injuries. Here are the most common ones:
- Abrasions in the face, chest, and arms
- Contusion to internal organs
- Wrist and finger injuries due to handling of the steering wheel
- Contusions to the face, chest, arms, and knees
- Fracture, strain, and blunt force trauma to the cervical spine
- Brain injuries such as brain swelling, bruising, concussion
- Rupture of the muscle heart
- Eye injuries
- Loss of hearing and other ear trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Fetal injury in pregnant women
- Placenta puncture in pregnant women
- Lacerations to internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and spleen
- Fractures in the rib cage, skull and arms
- Sprained fingers, especially in the driver
- Airbag dermatitis
What Can You Do to Avoid Airbag-Related Injuries and Fatalities?
Nobody wants to be involved in car crashes. However, accidents can happen, no matter how careful you are. Here’s what you can do to avoid airbag-related injuries and deaths.
- Wear your seat belt properly, all the time.
- Children under 12 should ride at the back, with proper restraints.
- Use the correct size of child seat for your child.
- Keep all seats at least 10 inches away from where your airbags are located.
- Hold the steering wheel properly.
Call The Clark Law Office for your Airbag Related Injuries
If you or a loved one becomes involved in an airbag-related injury, call your lawyer right away. Your Michigan personal injury lawyer will help you in establishing your case.
From investigation, the gathering of evidence, to interviewing witnesses, our lawyers will help you strengthen your claims. Our experienced car accident lawyers in Lansing have helped thousands in getting the compensation and support they need. Accidents that result in severe injuries can be traumatic. You do not have to shoulder all the financial burden that it entails. Contact The Clark Law Office now for a free legal consultation.