How do Airbags Work?

All vehicles manufactured in and after the nineties are required to have airbags. Most people have the pleasure of never seeing theirs in action; however don’t you wonder how they work.

We want all our clients, Vernon residents and their passengers to be as safe as possible. Consider these facts about how airbags work and how you can prevent any airbag related injuries.

Where is it & what does it do?

You airbags are built into different compartments of your vehicle. For instance, your steering wheel, dashboard, and even the sides of the vehicle have airbags. These bags are compressed and kept in a very small area. An airbag is designed to protect your head and body from hitting the windshield, steering wheel, and dashboard when in an accident.

What makes the airbag go off?

When your car hits something at a high speed or large impact, the vehicle loses speed very quickly. Crash sensors can respond to sudden changes in speed, break pressure or impact, and the status of how passengers are sitting in the vehicle. These sensors then relay the information very quickly to the air bag control unit. This unit then analyzes the data and coordinates safety features like seat belt lock, door lock, and the deployment of your airbags.

Generally, an airbag is designed to deploy when the crash reaches a certain severity. Depending on the vehicle of course, the threshold is normally comparable to a car crashing into a solid wall at 13-23 km/hr.

The airbag circuit then passes through an electrical current that acts as a heating element. The heat causes the chemicals inside the airbag to explode, creating a gas that fills up the airbag.

After the crash the airbag releases air through built in vents and should completely deflated by the time your car stops moving.

How to prevent injuries from airbags?

The force of an airbag is very strong. Anyone sitting too close to the dash when it launches could be seriously injured. Although airbags are meant to keep you safe, sometimes they can cause more problems. If you follow these three simple steps every time you are in the vehicle, the airbag will deploy safely.

  1. Sit Back: The ideal driving position is when your seat is far enough back that you can grip both hands with the steering wheel and can apply pressure on both the gas and the brake pedals without moving your upper body from the back of the seat.
  2. Wear you Belt: Before ever leaving your driveway, put your seat belt on! Make sure that all your passengers are wearing theirs too. In a collision, your seat belt will lock, allowing the airbag to inflate before your head goes for the dashboard.
  3. Consider you Kids: When your airbags are active, never strap a rear facing car-seat in the front seat. All children under the age of 12 should be riding in the back seat of the vehicle.

Your car has these safety features so that you or one of your passengers doesn’t get seriously injured in a tragic event like a car accident. You need to know how they work and what else you can do to make them work to their best ability. Always drive safe!

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