Airbags

November 30, 2020
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How Do Airbags Help?

Dodgers stadium holds 56,000 fans. It is estimated that even more people than that have been saved by automotive airbags, just since 1987.

A reminder of physics: An object in motion has mass and velocity, creating kinetic energy. The greater the mass and velocity of an object, the greater the amount of kinetic energy it has. An object at rest will stay at rest, until acted upon by an outside force. Likewise, an object in motion will continue in motion until acted upon by other forces. When a car collides with an object, the kinetic energy does not simply disappear.

There are actually three (3) collisions: 1. The vehicle hits a tree at 30 mph; 2. The driver and passengers continue in motion at same velocity strike the inside of the car (including seat belts and air bags); 3. The organs of the humans continue in motion and compress internally.

The seat belt slows your midsection from forward motion, but your head continues forward and snaps back. Airbags are a supplementary restraint system, meaning they are intended to work alongside seatbelts and not be relied on instead of them.

Should Christians Sue? Read our article here

Frontal Air Bags

Frontal Air Bags reduce the speed and contact of your upper body and head with the interior of the automobile in a crash. They have been required as standard equipment in all passenger cars since the late 1990s. Airbags work when a signal is sent from the airbag system's electronic control unit due to a sharp frontal impact. The electronic pulse is relayed to an inflator within the airbag module. The igniter, like a tiny solid rocket booster, produces a gas, which inflates the airbag in less than 1/20th of a second! When the driver or passenger’s head makes contact with the bag, it begins to deflate with the gas escaping through small holes around the edges of the bag. By the time the vehicle has come to a full stop, the bag should have completely deflated. It is worth noting that airbags do not--and should not--deploy when rear-ended. Also, children in rear-facing car seats should never be placed in front of an active air bag. Some modern airbags now weigh the front passenger and disable that front airbag when children are riding shotgun. In other cars, the passenger side airbags can be disabled manually. Children under 13 should be seated in the back seat.

Side-impact airbags

Side-impact airbags must inflate even more quickly since there is even less space between the driver or passengers and the striking object. In a Frontal airbag, much of the energy from a front-impact collision is absorbed by the bumper, hood, and engine, and it takes almost 30 to 40 milliseconds before it reaches the car's occupant. In a side-impact, only a relatively thin door and a few inches separate the occupant from another vehicle. This means that door-mounted side airbags must begin deploying in a mere five or six milliseconds! They can help protect the occupant from impacting the interior of the vehicle, another crashing car, broken windows, or even a tree. After deployment, smoke (from the ignition) and powder (smoother on the skin) fill the passenger compartment. Many of my clients expect the car to explode, but this is exceedingly rare. Airbags can only deploy once and their deployment often leads to totaling out a car, due to the expense of their replacement.

Takata Airbags

Takata Airbags have been recalled due to a safety defect that may cause them to explode, or throw metal shrapnel and result in serious injury or death. For more information or to see if your car has dangerous airbags, see https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/takata-recall-spotlight

Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in truck, motorcycle, and car crashes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.

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