Most drivers understand the value of having airbags in their vehicles. What many drivers do not realize is that, while airbags save lives by cushioning the impact during a collision, they can also contribute to injuries of their own.
Airbags can cause several types of injuries.
Airbags deploy at an incredibly high speed, and the force can cause facial injuries, especially if the driver or passenger is too close to the airbag module. Fractures, abrasions and contusions to the face are common. Some people even experience burns from the chemicals used to inflate the airbag.
Upper body impact
Airbag deployment can exert substantial force on the upper body, leading to injuries such as chest and shoulder trauma. The impact can cause fractures, sprains and strains, particularly if the driver has their hands on the steering wheel at the time of deployment. It is crucial to be aware of the recommended seating distance to minimize the risk of upper body injuries.
The loud sound generated by the rapid inflation of an airbag can result in hearing damage for those nearby. The noise, which can reach levels exceeding 160 decibels, may cause temporary or even permanent hearing loss. This underlines the importance of maintaining a safe distance from the airbag module.
Neck and spinal injuries
While airbags can prevent severe head injuries from a crash, the rapid deployment can still contribute to neck and spinal injuries. Whiplash, strains and herniated discs are potential outcomes, especially if the individual is not properly positioned or restrained during the collision.
Understanding the potential injuries that airbags can cause is essential for promoting safety on the road. Since airbags can deploy in 1/20 of a second, you need to practice safety at all times. By following recommended seating positions and maintaining awareness during driving, individuals can mitigate the risk of airbag-related injuries.