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Airbags are not always fault-proof

January 14, 2011

Although airbags have helped to prevent many severe injuries and deaths due to car accidents, studies show that oftentimes they do not deploy at the time of impact. The reason being that many times airbags can actually cause more harm. In the late 1990’s, airbag standards were changed because the deployment would sometimes cause serious injury or death that may not have occurred.

Even if you are in a serious accident chances are that the airbags won’t deploy at all. The NHTSA reported “because airbag sensors measure deceleration, vehicle speed and damage are not good indicators of whether or not an airbag will deploy.” No matter what the speed and force of impact, airbags will only deploy during very specific circumstances. Cars now have sensors that analyze data such as the type of accident and the size and weight of the occupants, and make a slip second decision as to whether the bags should deploy. For example, if you are rear ended at high speed, the airbag won’t deploy in enough time to prevent the first impact, so having the airbag explode will ultimately produce two blows to the body of the occupants.

Airbags will only deploy if the force of the airbag is substantially less than the one caused by the impact itself. In order to prevent serious injuries in a car accident, attorney Joseph Maus recommends wearing your seatbelt, keeping small children in the back seat, and sitting at a safe distance from the dashboard or sterring wheel.

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