Can Airbags Cause Injuries in a Car Accident?

Airbags provide additional protection during car accidents, but can they cause injuries themselves? This blog post will explore whether airbags cause injuries in a car accident. Understanding the potential risks and safety measures associated with airbags is crucial for ensuring your safety on the road.

car airbag

Common Types of Airbag Injuries

While airbags can save lives and prevent severe injuries in car accidents, they can also cause specific injuries when deployed. Here are some common airbag-related injuries that can occur during a car accident:

Facial and Eye Injuries

The rapid deployment of an airbag can cause facial and eye injuries. The force of the airbag hitting the face can lead to bruises, abrasions, fractures, and even eye injuries, such as retinal detachment or corneal abrasions.

Chest and Rib Injuries

Airbags deploy with significant force to protect the occupants. This force can cause chest and rib injuries, including fractures, bruising, or contusions. The impact can be particularly severe for individuals too close to the steering wheel or dashboard.

Arm and Hand Injuries

When the airbag inflates, it may forcefully push the driver or passenger’s arms and hands against the dashboard or steering wheel. This can result in fractures, sprains, strains, or even tendon and ligament injuries.

Head and Neck Injuries

While airbags protect the head and neck, they can still cause injuries in certain situations. The forceful deployment of the airbag can lead to head and neck trauma, including concussions, whiplash, or cervical spine injuries.

Hearing Loss

The loud noise during airbag deployment can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. You must seek medical attention if you experience hearing problems after an accident.

Factors That Can Influence Airbag Injuries

Denver car accident lawyers at Manning Law have seen several factors that can influence the severity and likelihood of airbag-related injuries during a car accident. These include:

Seat Positioning

Sitting too close to the airbag or leaning forward significantly increases the risk of airbag injuries. Maintain a proper seating position with sufficient distance from the airbag and adjust your seat and steering wheel accordingly.

Hand Placement

Placing your hands in the wrong position on the steering wheel, such as near the airbag module, can result in hand or arm injuries when the airbag deploys. Keep your hands at the recommended positions on the steering wheel to reduce the risk of injuries.

Speed of Impact

The speed of a crash affects how severe airbag injuries are. Higher-speed accidents may involve more forceful airbag deployments, increasing the risk of injuries.

Airbag Defects

Although rare, airbag defects can also contribute to injuries. In some cases, airbags may fail to deploy or deploy with excessive force, causing harm to the occupants. To keep you and your passengers safe, staying on top of vehicle maintenance is a good idea to ensure there aren’t any airbag recalls that could potentially cause harm.

Safety Measures to Reduce the Risk of Airbag Injuries

Although airbag injuries can happen, there are precautions you can take to lower the chances of them occurring:

Proper Seat Positioning

Adjust your seat and steering wheel to maintain a safe distance from the airbag. The NHTSA recommends positioning yourself at least 10 inches from the steering wheel.

Hand Placement

Place your hands at the recommended positions on the steering wheel—9 and 3 o’clock or 8 and 4 o’clock—rather than near the airbag module.

Seat Belt Usage

Always wear your seat belt properly. Seat belts work in conjunction with airbags to provide optimal protection during a collision.

Children and Airbags

Follow the guidelines provided by vehicle manufacturers and child restraint system manufacturers regarding using child seats and airbags. Generally, it is safest for children to ride in the back seat.

Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Keep your vehicle in good working condition by following the recommended maintenance schedule. This includes checking for any recalls related to airbags.

Staying Informed of Safety Features

Modern vehicles require airbags as a crucial safety feature. While they can cause injuries in certain situations, they save lives and prevent severe harm in most car accidents. Understanding the potential risks and taking appropriate safety measures can minimize the likelihood and severity of airbag injuries. Remember to consistently maintain proper seat positioning and hand placement and use seat belts. Staying informed is the best practice to stay safe.