For many people, it is difficult to imagine any disadvantages of airbags. Indeed, studies have shown that airbags have reduced car accident fatalities by 10% compared to seat belts alone. However, there are also dangers associated with airbags, especially for children and people of smaller stature.
First, it is important to realize that airbags are necessary safety features in vehicles. While seat belts can protect you from getting thrown around in the vehicle during a wreck, they cannot always prevent you from smashing your head or face against the steering wheel, dashboard, or side windows. The airbag is set up so that any front or sometimes side impacts will trigger the release of the bag. Airbags pop out and provide a barrier so that you hit it instead of the unyielding dash or steering wheel.
Airbags are so popular and helpful that many car manufacturers are now installing them on the side of the vehicle. This way, if you roll over sideways, you will not come into contact with potentially damaging broken glass from a shattered side window. This can also extend protection to people in the back seat rather than just the front.
However, airbags can be dangerous because they explode with a powerful amount of force. If a child or small adult is sitting in a front seat, this force can actually kill them. Sadly, a study by the National Transportation Safety Board found that 26 children were killed by airbags in a two-year span. Another study showed that 19 adults also died as a result of impact with an airbag.
If you are a petite adult, you should try to scoot your seat as far back from the airbag in the dashboard as possible. Additionally, parents should also keep their children out of the front seat until they are at least 12 years old.
Of course, airbag defects are the most dangerous problem of them all. Without an airbag, you can crash into your dashboard, suffering from head trauma. If an airbag deploys randomly, it can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you are a victim of a flawed airbag, you should not hesitate to contact an Iowa auto defect attorney from LaMarca & Landry, P.C., today.