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Knockout Punch: The Dangers of Airbag Deployment

Posted on in Car Accidents

airbag deployment, airbag safety, Lake County personal injury attorney, motor vehicle safety, airbag deployment injuriesDevelopment of the first airbag restraint systems began in the late 1950’s, monumentally altering the landscape of motor vehicle safety. Airbags were commercially introduced in 1973 with the General Motors’ Oldsmobile Toronado. Over the next 15 years, other automobile manufacturers also began developing and implementing vehicle passenger safety equipment.

In 1988, Chevrolet became the first motor vehicle company to provide customers with airbag restraint systems throughout the entirety of their passenger fleet. Over the following decades, car companies across the world have been working to enhance the safety, strength, and overall functionality of airbag restraint systems. The results have been overwhelmingly positive.

Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state that airbag restraint systems saved over 39,976 lives between the years 1987 and 2012. As manufacturers continue to innovate and design safer ways to protect vehicle drivers and passengers, airbags continue to save lives—but not without risks.

Even in the most minor of collisions airbag deployment can cause major injury to victims. If you or a family member are injured by the impact of airbag deployment, contact a knowledgeable Lake County personal injury attorney today.

Common Injuries from Airbag Deployment

Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes. Surprisingly, this means that airbag restraint systems can deploy at speeds as low as eight miles per hour. While the lifesaving capabilities of airbag deployment have revolutionized motor vehicle safety, these same systems can cause major, sometimes fatal, injuries to vehicle inhabitants.

According to the NHTSA, since June 2003, 87 adults and 144 children suffered fatal injuries due to airbag deployment. While the vast majority of airbag deployment injuries are not fatal, they can be severe. Minor injuries include, but are not limited to, skin abrasions, wrist and finger sprains, and minor concussions.

Due to the speed of deployment and limited space between passengers and airbag restraint systems, many injuries can be much more serious.  Airbags can cause fractures to the face, rib cage, or skull; burns and contusions to the face, chest, or lower body; as well as serious injuries to the eyes and ears. Many of these injuries can result in trips to the hospital, physical therapy sessions, and loss of work hours.

Steps to Take After Injury from Airbag Deployment

The emotional stress of a car accident can be incredibly difficult to deal with for victims and family. Sorting out insurance rates, medical bills, and in many cases working through the process of physical therapy can be exceedingly taxing. At Salvi and Maher, L.L.C. we have decades of experience providing victims with legal advice and emotional support in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. If you or a family member are injured due to airbag deployment, contact an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney today.

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/819375

https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-airbags-1991232

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