Defective Airbags Can Cause Serious Injuries
What if you were told that something inside your car was dangerous—and potentially deadly to you? And what if you were also told that this exact same item was supposed to be there…and when working, actually saves lives? It almost sounds like a riddle. But we’re talking about an underrated feat of modern technology: the airbag in your vehicle.
The Role of Airbags
Yes, airbags are a wonder of technology, that seemingly has to do multiple things. It needs to understand when to deploy, and figure that out in the milliseconds that it takes for a car accident to happen. It has to deploy with immediate force, in order to properly and quickly cushion your head and body, and then it has to immediately deflate—if it stays inflated, your body hits an almost solid item—and it has to know when to actually deploy, and when not to deploy. As you can imagine, airbags deploying every time your car hits a pothole, or makes a short stop at a red light, would be catastrophic.
Airbags explode with so much force, there are youtube videos showing them exploding (outside of cars), and showing the objects that they can move—and send flying through the air—when they do explode.
How They Malfunction
There are many ways that airbags can malfunction: they can fail to deploy completely but they also can deploy prematurely, or in situations where they shouldn’t be deployed. Unnecessary deployment can cause serious damage to passengers, more damage than what otherwise would have been suffered had the occupant just been stationary during the accident.
They also can malfunction when they just explode, without deploying properly. Essentially, the airbag just explodes, sending pieces of the dashboard and interior of the car flying into the bodies of the passengers.
When airbags deploy, they also shoot out chemical compounds (much of which is used for the explosion that inflates the airbag). Those chemicals can cause chemical burns. Certainly, these burns are a necessary hazard when airbags properly deploy. But when they deploy prematurely or when they shouldn’t the occupant can suffer serious burns when he or she doesn’t have to suffer.
Airbags do malfunction; there have been entire recalls of airbags that are defective.
Passengers often make airbags more dangerous than they have to be. Occupants who are not seatbelted can find themselves being thrown into a deploying airbag, adding to the already incredible force that is deployed by the airbag. Occupants who ride with legs up, or limbs sitting on dashboards, also risk more injury than they otherwise would have sustained.
After an accident, an expert will often have to evaluate the airbag and the vehicle. To see if the airbag should have deployed but did not, or whether it deployed improperly.
Have you been injured in a car accident, or by a product or airbag defect or malfunction? Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today.