The invention of the airbag was a huge advancement in automobile safety. Airbags have been credited with saving thousands of lives in serious motor vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, this device that is intended to protect does occasionally cause harm. Auto airbags sometimes cause significant injuries. Smart drivers and passengers will take special precautions to minimize the risks posed by airbag operation.
When Airbags Go Wrong
When the airbag system detects an impact to the body of a car, it automatically triggers inflation of the airbags at speeds up to 230 miles per hour. If a passenger is not properly restrained by a seat belt when deployment happens, he can suffer serious airbag injuries. Examples of airbag injuries include bruises, lacerations, fractured bones, cracked ribs, or concussion.
Unfortunately, there is also the issue of malfunctioning airbags. In March 2012, Toyota announced a recall of some Tacoma pickups. A possible manufacturing defect within the steering wheel assembly could prevent the driver’s airbag from functioning during an accident. In late 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began an investigation into the airbag system on some Jeep Liberty SUVs. There were reports of airbags deploying even without a collision.
Safety Precautions for Airbags
There are steps you can take to minimize airbag dangers for yourself and your family.
- Wear a seat belt.
All passengers and the driver should wear seat belts and shoulder restraints.
- Keep children in the back seat.
Children under age 13 should be properly restrained in the back seat of the car. Infants in rear-facing car seats must always be in the back seat.
- Use caution during pregnancy.
There is mixed evidence on whether airbag deployment is a significant hazard to a late-stage fetus. In the absence of clear evidence that it’s safe, you should avoid driving if possible.
- Position the steering wheel correctly.
You do not want the full force of an expanding airbag to punch your face. If your steering wheel is adjustable, position it so it is aimed away from your face.
- Sit at least ten inches away from the steering wheel.
You must place adequate space between yourself and the steering wheel to decrease the risk of chest injuries from the airbag. This is particularly crucial for small-stature drivers.
Get Recovery for Your Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered an airbag injury in Wisconsin, you need the guidance of the experienced Appleton personal injury lawyers of Hupy and Abraham. To find out more about your rights, call us today at 920-882-8382 or toll-free at (800) 800-5678. Just for calling, we will send you our free book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims.