Airbag safety involves the proper deployment of the airbag to effectively cushion the person in the front seat or at the driver’s seat during a collision or a crash. It also refers to the prevention of airbag-related injuries to adults and children when airbags are deployed. Foremost of all, airbag safety refers to the protection of the vehicle passengers during a collision or a vehicle crash to prevent injuries and fatalities.
Purpose of airbag
An airbag is a vehicle passenger restraint system made out of a flexible fabric cushion designed to directly cushion the occupants upon deployment during a crash. One vehicle may contain many airbag modules in different sides and frontal areas of the passenger seating positions. Most airbags are inflated through a pyrotechnic device and can be operated only once. The airbag can be rapidly inflated within 15 to 30 milliseconds upon detection of the sensor of a collision.
Airbags and passenger’s injury
Airbags are made to save lives, but their inefficiency such as rapid deployment should not be the cause of injuries to persons being protected.
In order to prevent injuries due to the rapid deployment of the airbag, drivers must adhere to critical safety points when using airbags. The airbag is deployed at about 200 miles per hour upon detection of impact. Such force may hurt people who are close to the airbag since it is not just a soft pillow.
Children and airbag safety
Children 12 and under riding a vehicle with airbags should take the rear seat and just be buckled up. Infants in rear using child safety seats should never be in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger side airbag. Small children are required to take the rear seat with the proper child safety seats. A child over one year of age should be secured in a front facing child safety seat when staying in the front seat with a passenger side airbag.
We must also remember that airbags are just supplemental protection devices such that everyone riding the vehicle should still buckle up with lap and shoulder seat belts in each vehicle trip. The safest place for children 12 and under to ride is in the back. There are situations by which an unbelted child where the child is too small for the lap and shoulder belt to fit. This may provide a great danger to the concerned child since there is a possibility that the child will be too close to the dashboard when the airbag inflates which could result in serious death or injury.