Can Airbags Cause Injuries When You are in Car Accident?

Airbags reduce driver and front-seat passenger deaths by 29% and 32% respectively, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). There’s no disputing that they are an important safety feature, and while they can reduce deaths and injuries, they can also cause them.

According to, it’s not uncommon for drivers and passengers to get hurt in a car accident because of airbags.

4 Types of Injuries

Head and Neck

Airbags can help prevent common injuries caused by frontal impact. The head and neck are especially vulnerable due to contact with the steering wheel.

But deployment can cause other problems with the head and neck, including facial trauma, spine fractures and in rare cases, decapitation. Studies show that a person can suffer damage to their eyes, especially if the person is wearing glasses. Orbital fractures are common, but occupants may also experience retinal detachment or lens rupture.

In cases where accidents are not head-on (front corner or offset from center impact), airbags may not be as effective at preventing head injuries because the impact propels the body in different directions.

Shoulder and Arm

In serious car accidents, airbags can prevent painful head impacts, but there is also an increased risk of damaging the shoulder and forearm. Clavicle injuries are especially common.

Fractures and dislocations are the most common types of upper limb damage caused by airbag deployment. Contusions, sprains, and abrasions can also occur.

When deployed, it can propel the forearm into the rearview mirror, center console, or even the windshield. The impact itself can hurt the forearm, wrist, or hand.


Front airbags prevent occupants from hitting the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. However, deployment can also cause injury to the abdomen or chest. Drivers and passengers can suffer rib fractures, cardiac rupture and also damage their spine and heart valve.

Research shows that airbags can seriously bruise the chest wall, cause lacerations and burns, and in some cases, these injuries can be significant. Emergency radiographs may not expose these types of problems, so detailed chest imaging may be required.

Defective Products

Airbags can cause injuries even when they deploy and function properly. If Defective they increase the risk of injury or even death.

The Takata airbag recall demonstrates the potential danger of these defective products in vehicles. Many makes and models were recalled because it was discovered that long-term exposure to heat and humidity caused the airbags to explode upon deployment. In these situations, occupants have experienced significant pain and suffering and even death.

About 63 million airbags were recalled in the initial recall. Some vehicles, mainly Honda, Acura, Mazda and Ford vehicles, were at a higher risk of airbag explosion.

In 2019, additional Takata airbags were recalled because of faulty inflators that may explode or fail to inflate properly upon deployment. The cause of the problem is believed to be a faulty inflator seal. Improper sealing can allow moisture into the propellant used to inflate the airbag. This can cause it to inflate more slowly or, on the other hand, more aggressively and even explode. Metal parts become projectiles causing injury or even death to occupants.

Tips for Injury Prevention

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While airbags can cause injuries, the protection they provide often outweighs the risks. There are steps drivers and passengers can take to help prevent the risk of injury in a car accident.

Wear a Seatbelt

Airbags are designed to work in combination with seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt is crucial not only to prevent airbag-related injuries but also to keep you safe if you are in an accident.

The seatbelt prevents occupant ejection, and the airbag acts as a cushion between the occupant and the dashboard, wheel, windshield, and other surfaces in the vehicle.

Without a seatbelt, the impact of being flung forward towards the steering wheel can seriously hurt you.

Give Yourself Space

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends drivers put at least 10” between the steering wheel and their breastbone. Giving yourself adequate space will help prevent injuries caused by airbag deployment.

The biggest risk of injury is during the first two to three inches of inflation because the force is the strongest in this range. Ten inches will provide enough space between the chest and the airbag.

Talk to a Lawyer About a Product Liability Case


After sustaining injuries in an accident, you should first seek medical treatment. If it’s possible take pictures of the interior and exterior of your car or have a passenger or friend do so. In any case it’s imperative for you to see a doctor right away, failure to do so will allow the other side, the insurance companies and manufacturers, to claim your injuries were not a result of the accident.

If you feel that your injuries were due to a malfunctioning airbag, one that deployed or DID not deploy, or if subsequent to your injuries the manufacturer issues a recall for the make and model of your car, you may have a product liability case. Even if there is no recall you may have a case. The best thing you can do is contact a lawyer. Product liability lawyers, like many, take cases on contingency and always give a free consultation, so it’s in your best interest to simply search for a lawyer on Google and call their office.

Once a lawyer takes you on as a client, they will typically subpoena records and emails from the manufacturer to begin to build your case. The evidence they are looking for may be related to the design of the product, crash test results, corrective actions made to the design, and most importantly internal communications between employees. In general, if a manufacturer issues a recall, it’s because something isn’t working as designed.

In some product liability cases, it’s been proven that the defendants, the manufacturers, had prior knowledge about a problem with their product and were negligent in addressing the problem or did not communicate the issue to the public in a timely manner. A good product liability lawyer can secure the evidence required to win a settlement for you. In fact, they may have settled cases similar to yours before or taken them to trial. Don’t be afraid to speak out, in the long run, it’s in your best interest.

Avoid Being Injured: How to Stay Away From DUI Driving Related Accidents

Traffic can be a very dangerous place for everyone involved if just one person is not careful enough. According to some research, around 93 percent of all traffic accidents come as a result of DUI driving. Even worse, every 48 hours, someone dies from driving-related accidents in the United States. This proves that DUI driving is a deadly venture and that it should not be happening nearly as much as it does. Driving under the influence causes the driver to have impairment judgment which can be fatal in the long run.

Of course, there have been numerous companies that make people realize how dangerous it can be, and warn people about the dangers of driving. However, things have hardly improved over the years. The reality is still the same, and although you can take measures and avoid accidents like this, you can never be sure the others are doing the same. So, how do you avoid these accidents? Stick around because this article has tips to help you avoid DUI driving-related accidents and stay free of as much risk as possible.

Always Make Sure to Fasten your Seatbelt

Seatbelts can be a life saver and they are there for a reason. Therefore, you must never ignore them. Tighten them up as soon as you enter the vehicle and never take them off while driving. With seatbelts, you can defend yourself against accidents. In addition, seatbelts reduce the chances of the accident being fatal. So, fasten them up and worry less. The law requires you to do it anyway, you will save money from potential tickets in the meantime.

Maintaining a Relatively Generous Following Distance

Do not follow the cars in front of you too closely, suggests McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, otherwise, you might be involved in a car accident. Remember to always maintain a certain distance to be safe. In fact, the distance should be double the recommended one at all times. This allows you to spot erratic driving so that you can take the necessary reaction on time. For instance, if you notice a swerving vehicle, consider slowing down until they get back on track, or let them go further on. If you notice an impaired driver, call 911 in the shortest time possible, but never while you drive.

Take Caution When Approaching Intersections

Although they are a necessary thing in traffic, road intersections can be confusing, overwhelming, and even dangerous, especially if there is a driver under the influence about to enter it. To stay as safe as possible, you have to approach them carefully and exercise a lot of caution. Remember that most driving accidents are associated with intersections where the person under the influence does not react on time or fails to notice what is going on. This is also where these drivers ignore the stop signs the most. Because of this, take time before making a move, remember to always look at both sides of the road and all other places someone or something may appear. Have a clear picture of the incoming traffic and proceed with caution.

Try not to Drive Late at Night

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According to personal injury lawyers Larson Law Firm P.C, late-night driving is when most traffic accidents tend to happen. The reasons for this are numerous. For example, visibility at night is poor and most DUI drivers are on the road during these times, coming back from nights out, parties, and celebrations. It has always been advised to us to limit driving at night in general and to stay away from late-night driving especially during the weekends and around important holidays.

Holiday Driving Is Not Good


Speaking of the holidays, exactly like the weekends, they are a hazardous time of year for drivers. This is again because most drivers in that state are in a rush to get to multiple celebrations and gatherings, and it is the time of year when many drivers have at least a drink or two in them while driving. New Year’s Eve is a great example of this, when everyone is happy and when nobody thinks of consequences and problems that tomorrow may bring. Although it is hard to completely cease driving at these times of the year, try to limit it as much as you can.

Consider Being the Designated Driver

Designated drivers are people who are pre-picked to drive everyone home after a night out, people who usually volunteer to do so. In a perfect scenario, it is someone who never drinks whatsoever. When you are the sober one and behind the wheel, you are much safer than when someone tipsy is driving. In addition, be willing to give a lift to those who have are clearly in no condition to drive. They can always pick their car up tomorrow. With such a proactive approach, you will keep several DUI drivers off the road for the night. It will make driving easier and reduces possible road accidents.

How Can an Attorney Help After a DUI Driving Accident?

DUI accidents always appear to be on the rise, despite more and more effort to lower it. However, people can play a key role when reducing these accidents is concerned. If you have been injured or you know someone who has been injured by a DUI driver, it is important to speak to an injury lawyer like you can find on from a company like in the shortest time possible. They have years’ worth of experience in this area and can assist you if you ever end up needing such services.

The Bottom Line

Traffic accidents always have the potential to be fatal, and it is often the unlucky people who did nothing wrong who suffer the most. Worse still, DUI driving can plunge you into untold circumstances and ruin your future and life forever. However, you can minimize driving-related accidents if you keep to these guidelines best to your abilities. Even though it will still not be enough, the above article contains tips that you should share with everyone you know, and that you can embrace and minimize accidents that could arise from driving in a state like that.