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How Defective Airbags Can Turn a Minor Collision into a Serious Accident?
Defective airbags can cause serious injury by deploying too aggressively, deploying at the wrong time, or not deploying at all.
While there have been enormous safety improvements in recent years aimed at reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents and the severity of injuries, sometimes defective safety equipment in passenger cars, SUVs and pickup trucks can increase the risk of serious injury. Airbags are a vital safety component of most vehicles and provide supplemental protection to seatbelts when drivers are involved in a collision. However, defective airbags can increase the extent of the injury suffered in a collision or even cause permanent brain injuries in a low-impact collision.
Defective airbags can cause serious injury by deploying too aggressively, deploying at the wrong time, or not deploying at all. Many times airbags that do not function properly fail because of faulty or poorly located sensors that are designed to activate their deployment. In this blog article, our Atlanta car accident lawyers provide an overview of the dangers posed by defective airbags.
Airbags deploy with enormous force, inflating at rates of more than 200 mph. Because of the force generated by an airbag, it is essential that the safety device is fully deployed before making contact with a vehicle occupant. If the airbag inflates into a driver or passenger, it can break bones, cause traumatic brain injuries, and inflict other severe injury or wrongful death. When sensors are properly placed, or they are defectively manufactured, the timing of airbag deployment can also be adversely affected.
Severe Airbag Injuries Caused by Overly Aggressive Deployment
Sometimes airbags are dangerous because they are overly aggressive in deployment. While they are an effective means of reducing injury in collisions at higher rates of speed, they are more likely to cause severe injury than protect vehicle occupants when deploying in low-speed crashes. Airbags that are defective because they are overly aggressive present a particular risk to small children and adults of small stature. Airbag systems are designed for an adult of average size who is positioned approximately a foot from the steering wheel. Children or smaller adults who sit closer to the steering wheel or dashboard are more likely to suffer blindness, head injury, severe neck injury, or others when an airbag deploys in a low-impact car accident.
Improperly Timed Inflation of Airbags
When the timing of airbag deployment is bad, this too can cause serious injury. If the airbag deploys too early, the vehicle occupant may not receive the full measure of protection from the air bag. Sometimes an airbag fails to deploy at all, which means that the vehicle occupant receives absolutely no safety benefit from the airbag. By contrast, an airbag that deploys too late may cause inflation-related injuries because the airbag is still deploying when it makes contact with the vehicle occupant.