Airbags are one of the greatest safety innovations invented for motor vehicles in the last century. Unfortunately, airbags can also cause injuries for drivers and passengers. Sometimes, these injuries occur because airbags are defective. Other times, the airbag deploys correctly, but a motorist is still injured. To better prepare motorists for the dangers presented by airbags, the following provides several critical details about injuries caused by airbags.
Liability for Airbag Injuries
Deciding which party should be held accountable for an accident resulting from or made worse by airbags can be challenging. Sometimes, an airbag causes an injury even when it performs as intended. Some of the parties that may be liable for airbag-related injuries include:
- The Other Driver – If an airbag accident only occurred because of the other driver’s negligence, the driver can often be held accountable for the resulting injuries and damage.
- Airbag Manufacturer – If an airbag was defective and its defect caused an injury, it is often possible to hold the airbag manufacturer accountable for the resulting damage.
- Vehicle Manufacturers – Vehicle manufacturers or distributors might also be liable if they failed to perform due diligence to detect an airbag defect.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Airbag Accidents
Airbags have the potential to cause various types of injuries, but some of the most common include:
- Traumatic brain injuries that occur when a person’s head collides with the airbag.
- Facial fractures that occur when a person’s face strikes the airbag or any other part of the vehicle with substantial force.
- Fatalities can occur in airbag accidents, and when they do, they tend to involve younger children who are improperly seated in the front of a vehicle
- Fetal trauma or miscarriage, in which the substantial force of the airbag causes an expecting mother to lose a child
- Fractured ribs, in which the force of an airbag striking a person’s chest is so substantial that a person’s ribs fracture
- Burns and contusions resulting from the airbag deployment
Ways to Avoid Airbag Injuries
Despite the dangers presented by airbags, there are several strategies that vehicle occupants can utilize to avoid being injured in airbag accidents. Some of these steps include:
- Always wear a seat belt when inside a motor vehicle. This way, your seat belt will help to prevent your body and head from jerking forward and striking the steering wheel or other parts of your car.
- Always sit as far away from the steering wheel and dashboard as possible. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that motorists sit as far away from the steering wheel and dashboard as possible. One good technique is to sit at least 10 inches away from the area from which an airbag deploys.
- Always make sure that children are properly secured in the rear of the vehicle.
- Utilize the on/off switches for airbags if and when appropriate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration authorized individuals to install on-off switches for airbags in their vehicles in certain situations. For example, a shorter person might install a switch if they can only sit within a few inches from where the airbag deploys.
- Pregnant women should avoid or limit driving whenever possible because there is a substantial risk of injury to the fetus from the airbag if it is deployed.
Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
At House Law LLC, our lawyers have experience helping motorists who have been impacted by airbag accidents. To schedule a free consultation, contact our law office today for assistance.
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