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Airbag dangers: Deploying your way at 200 mph

When you were on your way to visit your parents, the last thing you expected was to get into a head-on crash. The driver coming your way was in their lane, and everything seemed fine.

Then, they suddenly swerved into your lane. You're not sure if they had seen an animal or if something was wrong, but it put them directly in your path. You didn't have time to get out of the way.

Your head-on collision resulted in serious injuries, but many of them may have come from your air bag. Airbags are there to help prevent more serious wounds, but they can still cause some significant injuries.

An average airbag deploys at around 200 mph. It has to come out quickly to be able to protect your face and head before hitting the steering wheel or column. These bags are designed to work for the average person, so if you're taller, shorter, lighter or heavier than the average, your results may vary.

The force of an airbag that deploys at 200 mph can cause chest injuries, like broken ribs and organ damage. Overweight people have been trapped in their seats after the deployment of airbags. Small people tend to hit the bag at a higher speed, resulting in facial injuries or more significant bruising.

You should also know that airbags include the chemical sodium azide. This chemical is released to inflate the bag, but it can cause airbag syndrome. That syndrome is most common with older vehicles, but it's still possible.

How can you prevent injuries from the airbag deploying?

A good way to prevent the airbag from causing injuries is to be at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. This is a good distance, because it gives the airbag enough room to inflate without hitting you as it deploys. It also means you have to travel a little further before reaching the wheel, so that you hit the airbag only after it starts to deflate. This cushions your impact more than hitting it as it deploys.

Airbags are made to keep you safe, but that doesn't mean that you will be left unharmed. If you are involved in a crash because of another driver's mistakes and end up with airbag-related injuries, you can file a claim for those, too. Your injuries wouldn't exist if not for the other person's errors, so it's fair to ask them to pay.

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Ortega Law Firm | 361 East Coronado Road, Suite 101, | Phoenix, AZ 85004-1525 | Phone: 480-582-0981 | Map & Directions