Most Common Airbag Injuries

airbag injuries

Airbag Injuries

Airbags have been designed to quickly deploy in a vehicle collision to protect your upper body and head from hitting the steering wheel or dashboard. Airbags can prevent injury and saves lives. However, injuries can happen – whether it is from airbag malfunction or improper positioning in a vehicle, it’s essential to recognize that personal injuries may still occur.

Where are Vehicle Airbags Located?

Front airbags are situated in the steering wheel hub of the vehicle and the passenger-side dashboard. In newer cars, airbags are located in the front and on the sides. Side airbags have been designed to protect occupants from side impact during rollover accidents. If you have airbags in your vehicle, ensure that you are familiar with airbag
locations and safety requirements by reading your vehicle owner’s manual before installing child restraint car seats.

How Do Airbags Work?

air bag warning stickerA vehicle collision results in rapid deceleration, which triggers the front airbags. Nitrogen gas is produced, resulting in inflation at speeds of roughly 300Km/hour in order to protect your head and chest in a high-speed collision. Seatbelts are usually enough to protect the driver and front passenger in a low-speed collision – protecting the occupant’s chest and head. However, it is important to note that it is uncommon for front airbags to deploy in rear-end collisions, rollovers, or side-impact accidents. During these types of crashes, the side airbags deploy, providing protection between vehicle occupants and the doors.

What Causes Airbag Injuries?

A number of injuries have resulted from faulty airbag deployment or during regular operation of the front and side airbags. There have been cases of airbag deployment without the vehicle being turned on or running at all. The intensity of airbag inflation is another cause of personal injury resulting from airbag deployment. In fact, airbags are inflated with such force that the metal casing surrounding it may produce shrapnel, causing injury.

  • Airbags may deploy at the wrong time
  • Airbag deployment in a low-impact collision
  • The crash sensor may fail to deploy the airbag when needed
  • Only one airbag deploys
  • The airbag may deploy too late (timing of airbag deployment is important. Even if the airbag deploys a fraction of a second too late, it could cause serious personal injury to the driver and occupant).

What Injuries Can Airbags Cause?

Airbag deployment may lead to a range of injuries. The chemicals used within the device, the rate of the airbag deployment, airbag design, and lack of seatbelt use all play a role in airbag-related injuries. While rare, airbag injuries have the potential to cause significant trauma:

  • Facial Injuries
  • Chest Injuries
  • Neck & Back Injuries
  • Burns to the chest, arms, and hands
  • Skull, rib cage, face, arm, and wrist fractures
  • Concussions, brain swelling and bruising as well as loss of consciousness
  • Asthma attacks and other throat irritations
  • Eye injuries
  • Trauma to the ear that may lead to hearing loss
  • Internal bleeding
  • Fetal injury in pregnant women

How to Minimize Airbag Injuries

seat beltYou can reduce the risk of an airbag injury in an accident by taking these precautions when you drive your vehicle:

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Children under 12 should always ride in the back seat
  • Ensure that seats are at least 10” back from the front dash of your vehicle (airbag deployment area)
  • Check your vehicle’s model and year for any airbag-related recalls
  • Ensure you are using the correct car seat for your child’s height and weight.
  • Children should be properly secured and in the proper-seated position at all times.
  • If possible, avoid driving if you are pregnant
  • Do not place your arms across the steering wheel
  • Tilt the steering wheel downward, toward your chest – not your neck or head
  • Place both front seats as far as possible and as comfortable for safe driving
  • Do not install rear-facing infant restraints in the passenger seat.

What Steps Should I Take if An Airbag Malfunctions?

  • Preserve the evidence related to the airbag (parts)
  • Ensure the vehicle’s computer doesn’t get wiped
  • Do not transfer the vehicle over to ICBC, mechanic or junkyard

Contact A Trusted, Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are suffering injuries sustained in a vehicle accident from an airbag malfunction or deployment, contact our compassionate and experienced legal team at Tim Louis Law and Associates to book your free consultation today by calling 604-732-7678 or email Timlouis@timlouislaw.com

source:
https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/newsroom/Documents/airbags.pdf