How Serious Does a Collision Have to Be for Airbags to Deploy? 

Airbags are a key safety feature in cars. They’ve been required in all cars made since 1999 and have saved over 50,000 lives in that time. They not only save lives but also reduce the severity of accident injuries. 

That said, airbag deployment can also be scary and dangerous if used incorrectly. To help ensure you get the most protection possible from airbags, here’s an overview of how airbags work and when they deploy in an accident. 

What Causes Airbag Deployment? 

Airbags work together with seat belts to keep drivers and passengers safe in a car crash. All vehicles built since 1999 are required to have front airbags, and many also have side-impact airbags. 

Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to serious accidents. There are sensors around the car to detect impact. When there is impact, the airbag’s electronic control unit determines the airbags that should be deployed. The unit then sends a signal that causes those airbags to inflate. The entire process takes less than 1/20th of a second. 

Airbags are not intended to deploy in all accidents. Instead, the sensors determine when airbags are needed. Most airbags are designed to deploy when there is a crash at speeds from 10 to 16 miles per hour. While this might seem like a low speed, this speed is considered a moderate crash. 

Depending on where the impact of a crash is, airbags could also deploy at lower speeds. Front airbags are intended to stop forward motion, so they are most commonly deployed in rear-end or front-end collisions

What Causes Airbags to Fail? 

While airbags are not designed to deploy in minor accidents, they should deploy in moderate or severe crashes. Even so, there are times when airbags should deploy but fail to. 

Here are the most common reasons for airbags to fail to deploy: 

  • The previous car owner did not replace the airbag after a crash. Airbags can only be used once. After airbags are deployed, they need to be replaced by a certified technician. The most common reason airbags fail is that they were not replaced after a prior crash. 
  • The impact was not in the right spot to trigger the airbags. While there are sensors around your car, sometimes the location of the impact means that airbags will not deploy. 
  • There is a manufacturing defect. While it doesn’t happen often, sometimes a manufacturing defect will cause airbags to fail. When this happens, contact a Florida personal injury lawyer. 

Florida Airbag Safety Tips

You never know when an airbag will deploy, so you should always be prepared. This will ensure you get the maximum protection from airbags and avoid any airbag injuries. 

Here are some tips to help keep you and your passengers safe: 

  • Always wear a seat belt. Airbags are designed to work together with seat belts. You can sustain injuries if an airbag deploys and you’re not wearing your seat belt. 
  • Stay a safe distance away from the steering wheel. To get the most protection from your airbag, make sure that you always sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. 
  • Children should ride in the backseat. Children under the age of 13 should always ride in the backseat with the proper car seat, booster, and/or seat belt. Front airbags may not deploy if they sense a child is sitting there. The force of the airbag can cause injuries to small children. 
  • Replace airbags after an accident. Airbags must be replaced after they deploy. Have a certified technician replace all airbags after deployment. 

A St. Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer Can Help if You Sustain Airbag Injuries

If you’ve been in a Florida car accident, contact a car accident lawyer for help. They can analyze your case and discuss your rights. A legal team can also investigate your accident to determine who was at fault and help you get any compensation you deserve. 

Contact the St. Petersburg, FL Car Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 513-3764

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728