When pulling out of the driveway, many people don’t think about much besides reaching their final destination. According to a recent study by Carinsurance.com, drivers will statistically file an insurance claim for a car accident every 17.9 years, meaning that car accidents aren’t at the top of their list of things to worry about.
Cars are made to be able to withstand serious hits and are equipped with different features to keep drivers and passengers as safe as possible. Airbags are a vehicle-occupant restraint system that inflates and quickly deflates during a collision to protect the passenger. Made of fabric, an inflation module and an impact sensor, airbags are typically found in the steering wheel and dashboard of most vehicles.
While airbags are supposed to protect the inhabitants of the vehicle, there are times when the thing that is supposed to help can actually hurt. Keep reading to learn more about the injuries airbags can cause and how wearing a seatbelt can prevent them.
Brain injuries – When airbags deploy, the head and face receive the majority of the impact. Brain injuries from the powerful impact can include concussions, brain swelling, brain bruising and even a loss of consciousness.
Eye injuries – Along with the brain, eyes are also in a position to receive the strongest part of the impact. After being hit in the face, drivers and passengers can experience injuries such as a black eye, bleeding in the front of an eye, and corneal abrasions. In the case that the inhabitant was wearing glasses, cracking or shattering of the lens can also cause substantial damage.
Dental injuries – In many cases, dental injuries are overlooked as more serious injuries may have been incurred. Even though teeth take up a small section of the body, injuries in that area can cause great discomfort. The force of an airbag can cause chipped or broken teeth, as well as completely knocked out of its socket. If something like this happens, an emergency dentist that specializes in sedation dentistry can help with repairing the damaged tooth.
Fractures – In most vehicles, airbags deploy at a rate of 100 to 220 miles per hour. At such a high speed, significant damage will be caused. This type of intensity can result in several types of painful facial fractures, including the eye sockets, nose, jaw and more. Wearing a seatbelt can help with preventing the driver from sliding under the airbag and receiving a serious blow to the skull.
How to Prevent an Airbag Injury
In order for an airbag to properly do its job, it’s the driver’s responsibility to take every required step to ensure the safety of their passengers and themselves. Here are a few ways to ensure a safe ride for everyone in the car:
- Wear a seatbelt at all times while in the vehicle.
- Children under 12 should be in the back seat.
- Use the correct size/style car seat for infants and children.
- Keep seats positioned at least 10 inches back.
- Ensure that children are properly restrained to avoid any distractions.
While airbags have saved thousands of lives over the years, there are some negatives that can come with them. Remember to take the proper precautions every time you enter a vehicle, your life could depend on it.