When used in conjunction with seatbelts, airbags greatly reduce the risk of fatality as a result of auto accidents. NHSTA data suggests that those involved in an accident are 61% less likely to sustain fatal injuries when airbags and seatbelts are used together than when neither is present or used. It is without a doubt that properly working airbags save lives and reduce the severity of injuries sustained in accidents but defective airbags can cause accidents, fail to protect the occupants inside of a vehicle or cause severe injuries themselves when failing to deploy or deploying improperly.
Airbags Failing To Deploy In Auto Crashes
Airbags are designed to deploy in any collision that occurs at speeds exceeding 15 MPH and vehicles are equipped with sensors that determine when such a collision occurs, sending a signal to the airbags and causing them to inflate within a twentieth of a second. Defective parts or construction occasionally contribute to the failure of airbags to deploy and may result in severe trauma to the head if the victim’s head or face collides with the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield during the accident. Head injuries often change the victim’s quality of life for a long time and medical treatment and recovery can place a financial burden on the victim and his or her family.
Improper Deployment of Airbags Resulting In Injuries
Defective airbags can easily cause harm when deployed at the wrong time or when deployed improperly. Examples of improper airbag deployment include the following:
- The airbag deploys when no accident has occurred, injuring vehicle occupants or causing an accident.
- “Over deployment” which is when the airbag inflates too much or too quickly.
- Airbags do not inflate fully— failing to protect the passenger properly.
- Improper tethering or position which can cause the airbag to strike the occupant at an unsafe angle or position, causing severe injury or increasing the severity of injuries sustained in an accident.
It is the responsibility of auto manufacturers to recall and replace parts that are known to be defective and if an automaker fails to do so it is liable for any injury or damage that is caused by the defective equipment. Auto manufacturers have come under scrutiny in recent years because they have been slow to issue recalls on equipment that they have known to be defective. The decisions not to issue such recalls are often related to the cost of doing so and whether it would be less costly to pay settlements than to recall all of the defective parts. We, the consumers, deserve better than to have our safety treated as a “risk” and auto companies need to be held accountable when their products cause accidents and other harm.
Legal Assistance For People Injured When Airbags Fail To Deploy in Accidents
If you have been injured in an auto accident where the airbags did not deploy, it is important that you have a legal representative who looks after all of your interests. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are qualified in determining the true cause of your accident and whether defective materials or equipment may have contributed. Our consultations are free of charge and completely confidential— we will never charge you for our services unless we are able to collect on your behalf. Contact us today and one of our auto product liability attorneys can review your case and advise you on which steps to take next and how we can help you on your path to recovery.