The sole purpose of airbags in a car is to absorb the impact after a crash and protect its occupants from serious injuries. One airbag is fixed in the steering wheel while the other deploys from the passenger side dashboard. Unfortunately, during an accident, many things can go wrong. In some cases, airbags do malfunction and cause harm to a vehicle’s occupants.
Types of Airbag Injuries
Sometimes airbags fail to deploy as intended and fail to offer any protection in an accident. In other cases, while they deploy, they do so earlier or later than planned due to a sensor malfunction. In an accident, every second counts and such errors are too costly. Often, a normally functioning airbag injures crash victims and the high speed of release is responsible for such mishaps. In rare cases, an airbag can deploy in a non-accident situation and hurt passengers.
There are three major injuries that crash victims experience. These include:-
- Skin Irritation
Airbags release gases and powders, which some people may find irritating and cause a condition known as Irritant Dermatitis. This can cause significant discomfort in the face, arms and chest. The condition manifests as swollen patches, red patches, stinging, and itching.
- Chemical Burns
Some of the highly alkaline chemicals that leak from airbags can cause burns on the skin surface. There is also a high likelihood of deep tissue burns when these chemicals penetrate the skin.
- Eye and Ear Injuries
Depending on the face’s proximity to the deploying airbag, patients may suffer varying levels of injuries to the eyes and ears.
- Trauma Lesions
As airbags rub against various contact points, victims may experience injuries on the face, hands, neck, arms, and wrists.
- Broken bones
Elderly crash victims who may have a history of osteoporosis can likely experience broken bones on an airbag deployment.
- Head Injuries
A forceful impact on the head can lead to head or brain trauma, which can be life-threatening.
Ways to Reduce Risk of Injury
Airbags are a necessary aid in road safety. However, as a passenger or driver, it is crucial to find ways to reduce the likelihood of severe or fatal airbag injuries. Here are some measures you can practice to protect yourself from airbag injuries:
- Always fasten your seatbelt
Apart from this being a requirement for all passengers and drivers, seat belts can greatly limit an airbag impact and prevent serious injury. A seatbelt will keep you from surging forward towards the dashboard and steering wheel when a crash occurs.
- Keep a reasonable distance from the steering wheel
Whenever you are driving, it is advisable to sit as far as possible from the steering wheel, as long as it does not affect your ability to drive and focus on the road. This way, there is a lesser chance of contact with a deploying airbag.
- Restrain your children
The law in most states prohibits young children and babies from sitting at the front because the impact from a deploying airbag can cause fatal injuries to them. If you are using a car seat, ensure your child’s restraining device is firmly in place.
Finding Legal Assistance
When you are involved in an accident, the first step is to visit a health facility and confirm whether you have sustained injuries. Even when you feel alright, it is important to rule out internal injuries and bleeding.
If you acquire injuries from an airbag, please visit Benenati Law Firm in Orlando, FL, for free evaluation and guidance. Depending on your case, there are many possibilities and you have every reason to receive compensation for any injuries inflicted by an airbag.