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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.

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