The role of airbags in a crash

Airbags are an important safety feature in any vehicle, but many Arizona residents might know that airbags are not perfect and can cause injuries of their own during a crash. Here is some more information about this supplemental restraint system.

Airbags are not intended to be used alone and are designed for use with a seat belt. Airbags were regularly produced starting in the 1980s and are designed to protect the driver and passengers if an accident occurs. While collisions requiring an airbag happen very quickly, airbags must deploy even faster to be effective.

When sensors notice a sudden stop in forward motion, an airbag is deployed with a controlled explosion. The explosion causes a harmless gas to fill into the airbag and inflate it. Small issues can make airbags faulty or dangerous. This is evidenced by the Takata recall that involved millions of airbags. Inflating mechanisms could rupture with improper inflation, which led to the metal shards breaking apart and flying through the vehicle's cabin.

The potentially dangerous Takata airbags were used by 19 automakers in a 13-year period. An estimated 65-70 million total airbags require replacement because of the issue. 180 injuries and 11 American deaths have been attributed to the faulty airbags. Airbags are more likely to be faulty in older models that were exposed to persistent heat and high humidity.

Most motor vehicle injuries result from some form of driver error. However, others are caused by a defective part, such as is the case with the Takata airbags. Under products liability law, an attorney representing an injured victim could seek to hold the manufacturer financially responsible for the losses that have been sustained.

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  • United States District Court | District Of Arizona
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