How Airbags Work and What Happens When They Fail

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New York drivers may be aware that many vehicles of all makes and models have been recalled due to problematic airbags. Because airbags are instrumental in keeping drivers and passengers safe when accidents occur, there are some things about these devices that vehicle owners may wish to know.

An airbag is a safety device that is installed under the steering wheel, along the dashboards, and on the sides of the vehicle. As a collision occurs, the airbags deploy at high speeds and inflate when a sensor detects that a vehicle has suddenly stopped. They must inflate at speeds of over 200 mph faster than the speed the vehicle was traveling. When inflated, they create a softer cushion that can reduce the potential injuries a person may suffer. The inflation is caused by a controlled explosion and a chemical reaction, which results in a large amount of harmless gas.

While the science behind airbags, in general, is solid, technological processes and minute inaccuracies can cause airbags to not work as intended. For example, more than 42 million airbags have already been recalled in the U.S. alone. It is expected that an estimated 70 million airbags will in total be recalled due to the defects.

When a company sells a product, it is responsible for ensuring that it is safe to use, especially if it is being used as intended. If the product is defective and results in a serious injury, the manufacturer and the company that sold the product could be held liable for any damages. A product liability attorney may represent the affected consumer when filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties.