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How an Airbag Works

In the unfortunate event of an accident, an airbag can be a valuable safety device. However, there are some dangers associated with airbag deployment. By understanding how an airbag works, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from injury.

An automobile collision can occur in a fraction of a second, and airbags are designed to deploy with equal speed so that you get the protection you need the moment you need it. Airbags are made of a thin, nylon fabric that is contained in the steering wheel, dashboard, or sometimes in the side doors of automobiles. A sensor in the car tells the airbag if there has been a collision, and begins a chemical reaction that causes the airbag to inflate.

Sodium azide (NaN3) mixes with potassium nitrate (KNO3), and produces nitrogen gas. It is this gas that expands and fills the airbag. Once the airbag inflates fully, the gas is cooled and the airbag immediately begins to deflate slightly to reduce the force of impact the individual will have when coming into contact with the airbag. The entire inflation process takes approximately 60-80 milliseconds.

Airbag Safety

Since the inflation process happens so quickly, an individual driving or riding in an automobile will not have time to react once the inflation process has begun. With this in mind, it is important that people ride safely in cars just in case an airbag is deployed.

Both drivers and passengers should be sure to keep their entire bodies a safe and reasonable distance away from the airbags. This means that people should never rest their head, feet or bodies against the dashboard, steering wheel, or side door in case a collision should occur. The speed and force of an airbag deployment could result in broken bones, burns, or scrapes if an individual is seated too close to the airbag.

If you or someone you know has been injured by faulty or defective airbags, contact the Sheboygan car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (920) 459-8000 today to schedule a consultation.