Hurt in a car accident and your airbag failed to deploy?
As car accident attorneys in Memphis, one of the most common complaints we hear is about airbags not deploying. It makes sense: when you have a frontal collision, you expect the airbag to deploy correctly and prevent whiplash or other injury.
But airbags don’t always work the way we think they will. It’s important for all of us drivers to understand why.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has specific regulations for airbags. According to the NHTSA, airbags are supposed to deploy in frontal or near-frontal collisions. They typically require hitting a solid barrier at approximately 8-14mph or a parked car at around 28 mph.
That means airbags aren’t designed to deploy if you’re just hit from the side, or even necessarily from behind. To deploy when it’s not a frontal crash, the collision would have to cause such an intense jerk that it sets off the sensors.
It also means whether airbags deploy can depend on what you hit. A parked car can absorb some of the shock, as opposed to, say, a steel barrier. So it takes more force for airbags to deploy from a collision with a car than a collision at the same speed with a brick wall.
These standards are actually meant to protect you, since airbags can be very dangerous. Improperly deployed airbags can cause severe injuries. Likewise, airbags that don’t deploy when they should can lead to lifelong health problems.
Either way, the question is whether or not you were injured. If the airbag doesn’t deploy, but you leave the accident unscathed, it only shows that you probably didn’t need the airbag. Celebrate, because airbags can help but they can also hurt. If you’re safe and healthy, that’s a wonderful thing.
But it’s definitely a real and common problem for airbags to deploy incorrectly or not deploy at all. If you think an airbag has caused severe injury, it’s important to talk with a personal injury lawyer about your case. He or she can investigate the crash and discuss your options with you.