Types of Airbags
When it comes to life-saving technology, new airbags are continually being designed, tested and studied. Since the original prototype for an airbag in 1963, new types of airbags have used different materials and been housed in some surprising locations. Each individual type of airbag is designed to specifically protect drivers and passengers from certain kinds of trauma.
Although airbags save millions of lives every year, they can cause injuries when they deploy. If you have been injured by a dangerous or defective airbag, our attorneys are here for you. At The Edwards Law Firm, we believe that people who have suffered airbag injuries due to no fault of their own deserve justice.
Different Airbag Types
Millions of dollars in research and development go into the auto industry each year, and many of these funds are allocated to increasing automotive safety. Engineers are finding new and creative ways to solve specific issues using airbags, from preventing certain injuries to protecting certain prone body parts.
The different types of airbags currently in production include:
The original design for driver protection, the frontal airbag is typically released through the steering wheel. A passengers frontal airbag is typically released from the dashboard, usually above the glove compartment. This type is designed to protect the head and chest of the occupant.
Side airbags are designed to protect an occupants torso and pelvis, and are most often deployed from the side of the seat and inflate between the passenger and the door, in both the front and rear seats.
- Side Curtain
Curtain airbags are a form of side airbags that usually deploy from the roof or door and inflate across the windows to protect a persons head and upper body from broken glass injuries. Side airbags that provide head protection are proven to reduce a drivers risk of death in driver-side collisions by over 35%, and an astonishing more than 50% for SUV drivers.
An uncommon yet practical type of airbag introduced by Kia in 1996, the knee airbag is designed to protect a drivers legs and deploys from beneath the steering column.
- Rear Curtain
A uniquely designed airbag that deploys behind the rear passengers head(s) to cover the rear window, a rear airbag provides a protective shield from debris that may be projected from the vehicles rear.
- Rear Center
Another type of rear airbag is found in some Toyota vehicles; it deploys from the center of the backseat and provides a protective bubble between rear passengers to shield each from causing secondary injuries to one another.
- Seat Cushion
Another new form of airbag introduced in 2012, the seat cushion airbag can be found in the front seats of select vehicles. This airbag is integrated into the seat, causing the front portion of the seat cushion to lift up the occupants knees, preventing the persons pelvis from sliding beneath the lap belt (submarining).
- Front Center
Introduced in 2013 in select General Motors models, the front center airbag is designed to protect front passengers from colliding with one another in side-impact accidents or to maintain occupant position in the event of rollover. This type of airbag deploys from the side of the drivers seat.
- Seat Belt
Developed by Ford, the seatbelt airbag is essentially an inflatable seat belt. The design is intended to reduce injuries for backseat passengers. The torso restraint inflates softly to distribute force across the upper body in the event of a crash.
A very recent innovation by Volvo is designed to protect pedestrians in a collision, specifically the pedestrians head. The hood airbag expels from under the hood (at the base of the windshield) when impact with a pedestrian is detected by sensors in the vehicles front-end. This airbag is currently only available in Volvo's European model V40.
These airbags are designed to absorb some of the momentum a driver experiences in the event of a motorcycle accident. These types are found on Hondas Gold Wing touring bike in 2006 and later models. The effectiveness of these airbags is yet unknown.
NHTSA estimates that 0.1% of the vehicle fleet in the United States is outfitted with a counterfeit airbag. Fortunately, no severe injuries or fatalities have been reported related to counterfeit airbags. Vehicles at risk for being equipped with such a device include those with unknown repair histories, salvage/rebuilt/reconstructed titles, or those replaced after 2009 at an establishment not associated with a new car dealer. Replacement airbags purchased online may also be at risk.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an airbag, an experienced attorney can help recommend the most appropriate course of legal action.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
Even though an airbag may have prevented your death, it can still leave you with injuries. You may feel frustrated, stressed out by medical expenses and may even be unable to work. If you or someone you love has been the victim of an airbag injury, The Edwards Law Firm can help make sense of your legal rights.
Our Tulsa auto accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to determine whether your injuries are due to airbag defects or poor vehicle design and to litigate against the manufacturers that may be responsible. Call us today to discuss the details of your case for free! Dial 1-800-304-9246 toll-free.