Interesting Innovations in Airbag Technology

Car accidents can be devastating, that’s why for years personal injury attorneys have been pushing for more advanced safety features in vehicles. Airbags are essential safety features in vehicles that have been saving lives and reducing injury.  As auto dealers continue to create new safety features in cars, we are seeing a number of non-traditional airbags that are hitting the market. It will be interesting to see how effective these are in reducing serious injury and death due to motor vehicle accidents.

Why are airbags important?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 1987 to 2017 frontal airbags saved 50,457 lives.  The purpose of the airbag is to assist the passenger in the car in the vehicle decrease their speed in a collision without injuring them. The air bag provides crucial cushioning that aids in preventing the body from hitting hard parts of the vehicle when in a collision.Airbags are essential safety feature in vehicles that has been saving lives and reducing injury.

How do airbags work?

There is a sensor that receives information from an acceleration meter called an accelerometer that is built into a microchip. Inside the airbag’s inflation system, it contains sodium azide (NaN3) and potassium nitrate (Kno3) and when the two react it creates nitrogen gas. The blast of hot nitrogen gas creates the inflation of the airbag.

How Many Airbags are Standard in a Vehicle and Where are They Located?

There are several types of airbags common to just about every vehicle.  The two front airbags typically include a driver’s side airbag in the steering wheel/column and a front seat passenger airbag in the dash.  Side-impact airbags in the form of roof-rail airbags or side-curtain airbags  are commonly found in newer model vehicles. These airbags help protect the occupant during rollover and side-impact crashes.

Other Types of Airbags

There are several new innovations in airbag safety over the last few years. The seatbelt airbag deploys from the seams of the seatbelt to cushion the occupants in the backseat is a newer type of airbag. The front-center airbag is an airbag that ejects from the center console to prevent occupants in the front seat from hitting each-other.  Knee airbags deploy under the dashboard to protect the knees in collision.  The panoramic sunroof airbag is an airbag that helps to prevent people from being ejected through the sunroof.  The pedestrian airbag is an airbag that comes out of the hood to protect pedestrians from hitting the windshield.  All of these

Concluding Thoughts

Traditional airbags have proven to be an important safety feature on vehicles. Today there are many new innovations in airbag technology. It will be interesting to see if these new innovations are as effective in reducing serious injury and/or death as the traditional airbags.

Author

Karen Sears

Karen Sears is a Marketing Assistant at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. and a Criminal Justice Major at Sam Houston State University. She graduated from Tomball Memorial High School in May of 2019, and earned a Paralegal Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin in the Summer of 2019. She plans to attend law school after graduation.