Technology is always evolving to make cars safer. Ask your grandparents how much more frightening it was to ride in a car before seat belts became widespread. They might even remember their grandparents telling them about a time when cars did not even have steering wheels; some early models of automobiles had rudders like you might find on a boat. Today, cars have all kinds of safety features like anti-lock brakes and rear-facing cameras. The car airbag was a major advance in preventing serious injuries during car accidents. You might have heard scary stories about people being injured by car airbags. These incidents certainly have happened, but for the most part, airbags protect many more people than they injure. Here are some facts about car airbags, their advantages, and their limitations.
Car Airbag Safety Has Come a Long Way
The first airbag was installed in a car in 1951. In the early 1990s, driver’s side airbags located in the steering wheel become standard. The problem with these was that they were only effective in front impact crashes, and if there were other passengers in the car, they did not have airbag protection. Today, many models of cars have six or more airbags. The additional airbags are located inside doors, seat cushions, and knee bolsters, among other places. There are even airbag modules designed to protect pedestrians. The newest airbags even have sensors that determine how much the airbag should inflate, depending on the force of the impact.
Airbag-Related Injuries and How to Avoid Them
Several injuries involving car airbags have been reported, many of them because of defective airbags. In some cases, the airbags failed to inflate on impact. There have even been a few incidents of airbags exploding, leading to shrapnel-related injuries. These are some ways you can avoid being injured when airbags inflate.
- Wear a seatbelt. Airbags do not take the place of a seatbelt and do the best job of preventing injury when the driver and passengers are wearing seatbelts.
- If your car is more than a few years old, have your airbags inspected at the car dealership. Replace them if the dealer recommends doing so.
- Follow safety guidelines regarding the position of children in cars. Some children have sustained injuries when a front passenger seat airbag inflated; the airbags are designed with the assumption that the front passenger is an adult. Do not let children ride in the front seat unless they are of sufficient height and weight. Likewise, child safety seat design and backseat airbag design work together. The youngest infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat. Do not put them in front facing car seat until they reach the recommended age and weight.
Contact Walton Telken Foster Attorneys at Law About Car Accident Injuries
If your car’s airbags inflated in an accident, and you still got injured, who is liable? Consult a personal injury lawyer to find out. Contact Walton Telken Foster Attorneys at Law to discuss your case.