Airbags have been a standard safety feature in automobiles for decades, saving thousands of lives. These devices inflate in the event of a crash, keeping your head from crashing into the steering wheel, dashboard, or other hard surfaces. While airbags can cause cuts or bruising, they can prevent traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death.

The common misconception is that an airbag will inflate every time a car is involved in a crash. However, this is not the case. There are wrecks where the airbag should inflate, but it does not. Additionally, you might sometimes expect an airbag won’t deploy, but it does.

How Do Airbags in Vehicles Work?

Today, you can buy a vehicle with airbags for the front passenger and driver, side airbags to protect occupants in the case of a side impact, and airbags to reduce the risk of shoulder injuries. Refinements are constantly being made to airbag technology, but all airbags work in substantially the same way.

Airbags are connected to monitors that detect certain changes in the movement of a vehicle. The movements a monitoring module looks at include the rate of deceleration or how quickly a car is coming to a stop. It also can measure a car’s side-to-side movement.

Each airbag module contains preset limits for these and certain other movements. When a crash occurs and the airbag module detects movements that exceed these limits, the airbag will inflate. This process happens in mere fractions of a second, commencing with a small chemical reaction that causes the airbag to inflate. The airbag then quickly deflates after inflating.

When Do Airbags Typically Deploy?

The most common places you will find an airbag on today’s vehicles are the front passenger dashboard and the steering wheel. These airbags protect the driver and passenger during a front-end collision. They will not typically inflate in a rear-end crash or in a side impact, as the monitoring module is not designed to measure the forces present in such crashes.

Each airbag manufacturer sets its own tolerances and limits that will trigger an airbag deployment. However, in most cases, front airbags are designed to deploy in a front-end crash equivalent to colliding with another object at a minimum speed of between eight and 14 miles per hour.

Side airbags work similarly. Most side airbag modules detect when the car moves sideways or begins to rotate in a rollover. These movements then trigger the same sort of reaction found in front airbags, causing the side airbags to inflate.

Why Your Airbags Did Not Deploy

If you were involved in a wreck and the airbags in your car did not deploy, there are two possible reasons. The first and most likely explanation is that the forces involved in the crash did not exceed the limits that would trigger airbag deployment. 

It could be that you were involved in a rear-end collision or that the speed of your crash was too low. Either circumstance would result in the airbag not deploying.

Alternatively, your airbag might not have inflated due to a manufacturing or other defect. If your crash occurred at a speed greater than 15 miles per hour and was a head-on crash, some sort of defect likely is to blame for the airbag’s failure to deploy.

Airbag Deployment in Your Auto Accident

Airbags are an important safety feature in automobiles, and their effectiveness in saving lives and preventing catastrophic injuries cannot be denied. However, they are not foolproof and do not deploy in every circumstance. Only when your crash produces forces that exceed the limitations on the airbag’s monitoring module can you legitimately expect your airbag to deploy.

Contact The Baltimore Car Accident Law Firm Of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

For more information contact the Baltimore car accident law firm of WGK Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation.

WGK Personal Injury Lawyers
14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States
(410) 837-2144

WGK Personal Injury Lawyer – Dundalk Office
7329 Holabird Ave Suite 3, Dundalk, MD 21222
(410) 970-3080