Though fairly rare, airbag injuries can be very serious. Since so many body parts are exposed to an airbag’s radius, the likelihood of becoming injured in the event of a deployment is greater.
Injuries are usually associated with the rate of speed that which the airbag deploys. Airbags deploy rapidly, some reaching speeds approaching 200 mph. If an individual is not wearing a safety belt, the risk of injury greatly increases.
Common Airbag Injuries
A wide variety of injuries can occur from airbags. The trauma of hitting the airbag, the materials used in the creation of airbags, and whether an individual was wearing a seat belt, can all contribute to the severity of an injury. Here are just a few of the more common injuries associated with airbags:
- Eye and facial injuries
- Head, neck, and back trauma
- Abrasions and bruising to upper body
- Breathing problems
- Broken bones
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Airbag Injury Statistics
Airbags are intended to reduce the risk of death, however, their use can still cause injury-related problems. With the advancement of governmental regulation on airbags, the risk of injury and death has decreased. The following are a few statistics to consider:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that in 25 years of use, airbags had saved roughly 40,000 lives.
- Airbag-related injury is more likely at low driving speeds.
- Frontal airbags are 14% less effective if no seat belt is used.
- Side airbags with head protection reduce risk of death in driver’s side crashes by 37%, and by 52% in SUVs.
- Children riding in the front seat are 40% more likely to be injured in a car accident than those riding in the back.
Why Do Airbags Cause Injuries?
Airbags primarily cause injury due to the sheer speed at which they impact human beings. Newer regulations have reduced the energy they deploy, thereby reducing the likelihood of injuries.
The misuse of airbags is also a contributing factor to injuries and fatalities, particularly in infants and children. Properly securing car seats, boosters, and safety restraints is imperative in avoiding airbag injury.
Other Reasons for Airbag Injuries
Additional factors can contribute to airbag injuries. For instance, a malfunction in the crash sensor could deploy the bag prematurely. Low-speed collisions may also cause a deployment, and lead to serious injury or death. The timing of the deployment is crucial; if it’s a millisecond too late, it could be deadly.
Recalls on faulty airbags have caused serious issues with cars on the road. Another problem, is fake airbags. Do not have your airbags replaced by anyone unless it is by a new car dealership.
The ON-OFF switch. Under certain circumstances, the NHTSA will authorize the installment of the switch, because the risk of having the airbag on outweighs having it turned off. An example of this would be having an infant in a rear-facing car seat sitting in the front seat, because the car doesn’t have a backseat.
I’ve Suffered an Airbag Injury, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Car accidents can be a serious legal matter. If you have been injured by an airbag, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Many factors are involved with airbags, and a lawyer can help take you through the process of building your case.