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Motor Vehicle “Air Bags” are a “Mixed Bag” when it comes to car accident injuries

Airbags were developed to minimize the high number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring in car accidents. They have succeeded in minimizing the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries. However, the mechanism designed to keep us safe, does have a dark side.

An airbag is a firm gas filled bag that is deployed at you in a micro-second. When a collision occurs, the airbag can make impact with you in a micro-second at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. An airbag is not a big, soft, cushioned object that floats out and envelopes you like an airy cocoon and protects you from harm, in a car accident or collision. Many airbag injuries are short lasting and heal quickly. However, other serious injuries can result including:

  • Superficial scratches and scrapes,
  • Friction burns and cuts
  • Shock
  • Eye injuries
  • Internal ear injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Chest and cardiovascular injuries
  • Respiratory problems due to trauma or gases from bag deployment
  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries including whiplash
  • Facial trauma
  • Rib fractures
  • Arm and shoulder injuries

Who is at risk

Like a great fitting pair of jeans, air bags are the same; there is no one size fits all perfectly. Air bags were designed for an average size man. Generally speaking, people who are somewhere in the middle regarding size are best served by airbag technology. That leaves a whole range of other sized folk at greater risk. This includes people of a smaller, or shorter stature, extra tall people and definitely infants and children.

Airbag safety tips

There are important safety tips we all should keep in mind, even folks in the average size category.

Wear a properly fitting lap and shoulder seat belt
Sit as far back in your seat as possible away from the dash
In case of pending car crash sounding the horn, puts you at increased risk of injury if the airbag deploys and forces your hand and arm back into you. Passengers who attempt to protect themselves by putting one or both hands on the dash have a greater chance of serious injury if a car accident occurs and airbag deploys.
Never, ever put an infant or small child in the front seat. Many infant and child fatalities and life altering injuries have occurred in accidents where the driver sustained only minor injuries. These tiny bodies are not able to sustain the speed and force of an airbag blast.
Infants and small children should be safely buckled into a properly fitting child safety seat. Take the time to be sure that what you currently use conforms to safety regulations and is appropriate for the size and age of the child.
Older children should travel in the back seat only, and wear a properly fitting lap and shoulder seat belt at all times.
In spite of the benefits offered by airbags we should not be lulled into a false sense of security. Airbags save lives and prevent injuries in many situations. Airbags can have a dark side are sometimes the mechanism causing long-term disability or death. There are certain safety tips to keep in mind in order to minimize chances of harm. Children under age 13 are particularly at risk of injury due to passenger airbags and should never ride in the front. Proper installation and fitting of safety car seats is essential. Every one traveling in a car should be sitting upright, far back in the seat away from hard surfaces ahead, and wearing a properly fitting lap and shoulder seat belt.

When harmed by the impact of an airbag, Kahler Personal Injury Law Firm helps clients to obtain financial benefits for their injuries. This financial compensation helps cover necessary costs and every day expenses due to missed time or absence from work. We are available to answer questions during an initial no charge consultation.

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