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What Triggers Airbags to Deploy in a Car Accident?

Airbags are meant to protect drivers from serious injury in car accidents. However, though they can be lifesaving aids, airbags are not designed to deploy every single time a car crash occurs. In other cases, they may fail to work entirely due to something defective. Let’s take a look at what situations do and don’t trigger airbags to deploy during an auto accident.

How Airbags Work

A sensor designed to detect when a crash is about to occur is built into your car, which detects factors like rapid deceleration and collisions to signal airbags. During a car crash, airbags are rapidly inflated by a chemical reaction to provide a barrier between a motorist and an obstruction.

However, just because you get into a car accident doesn’t mean your airbag will deploy. This is because airbags are designed to be triggered primarily by head-on collisions. Even though the force of an airbag’s inflation can be dangerous to drivers, it is far safer to be hit by an airbag than a vehicle or some other obstruction head-on.

Why Didn’t My Airbag Deploy?

Here are the five most common reasons why an airbag may not deploy during an accident:

  • Defective airbag sensors: If the impact of a car crash should have triggered your airbag to deploy, but nothing happened, the sensors may have failed. Such a defect could be the result of a manufacturer who didn’t properly design, test, or install the equipment. A software error may also be to blame. Sometimes these defects result from mere oversights; in other cases, the manufacturer may have tried to cut costs by providing only the most minimal of sensors.  
  • Defective electrical components: An airbag failure can also be caused by defective electrical components or wiring failing to communicate the impact to the airbags.
  • Defects in airbag modules: Problems with the airbag module itself can prevent an airbag from deploying. This is usually the result of design or manufacturing defects.
  • Severed wiring: If manufacturers route wires through certain areas they can be damaged or severed during a crash, which prevents the sensors from alerting the airbag module.
  • The nature of the collision: As mentioned above, airbag sensors might not be triggered depending on where your vehicle is struck during a collision.

If an airbag doesn’t deploy properly, it can lead to serious injuries for motorists, including:  

  • Broken ribs or other bones
  • Contusions to the chest, arms, knees, and/or internal organs
  • Facial fractures, broken arms, and/or wrists
  • Facial lacerations and/or contusions
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Wrongful death

If your airbag did not deploy correctly during a car crash because of a defect, you may be able to receive compensation. Contact us today to learn more by speaking with our Florida product liability lawyer. We offer free consultations to prospective clients.


Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A. Today!

Hiring of a Florida injury lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. The firm will be happy to provide you with more information regarding Attorney Pittman’s qualifications and answer any questions you may have regarding your legal options.

Contact The Pittman Firm, P.A. now for the high-quality legal representation you need for your personal injury case.
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