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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Injury Prevention - Road Safety - Airbags

Most "newer" cars today come equipped with airbags. In conjunction with seatbelts these are a very effective means of keeping you safe while your drive. Some people are concerned that airbags can cause injuries and that sometimes they don't inflate like they are supposed to. It's important to know how they work and how they prevent injuries.

Airbags are electronically connected to sensors in your car that can detect when you've been in a collision. Once hit there is a sequence of events that occurs that result in the inflation of the airbag. This process occurs very quickly - in less then one twentieth of a second (TC).

Front air bags are meant to protect your head and chest area in the event of a head on collision. They are not meant to open if you are hit from behind, side, or if you roll the car. In some circumstances, airbags will inflate if the impact is on an angle and if the impact is enough to decrease the vehicle's speed and trigger the sensors to respond.





Airbags and Injuries

Airbags inflate so quickly that their force can sometimes cause injuries. Most of these injuries are considered minor, such as bruises. In some serious cases, people have been know to break bones or die if their head or chest hits the dash as the air bag is inflating, although this is very rare.

There are many things you can do to reduce your chance of getting hurt if your air bag inflates. Sit well enough away from the steering wheel, but make sure you can still reach the gas and brake pedals comfortably. Keep children under 12 years of age in the back seat, and always buckle them up.




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