If you’ve been injured by an airbag, you may be entitled to compensation
Airbags are in most modern vehicles in America, and for good reason. In the event of an accident frontal airbags can reduce deaths of front seat passengers and/or drivers by up to 32 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. Side airbags with head protection can have a huge impact as well, reducing driver death by 37 percent in cars and 52 percent in sport utility vehicles according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
However, airbags can also cause injury, especially if they are not used properly. The following are some tips that can help prevent avoidable injury caused by airbags:
- Always wear your seatbelt. This includes both the over the shoulder belt and the lap belt if the two belts are separate. Airbag deployment is designed to be most effective when the vehicle passenger’s body is also being restrained by the seat belt. Not wearing a seatbelt (or a part of the seatbelt) can subject you to airbag forces beyond what the engineers anticipated, possibly causing severe injury.
- The driver and front passenger should always be more than 10 inches from their respective front airbags. (The driver’s front airbag is in the steering wheel and the passenger’s front airbag is in the dashboard.) The best standard practice is to ride with the front seats (both driver and passenger) moved as far back as possible.
- Never let individuals that are too small or too young ride in the front seats. Each vehicle’s user’s manual has specific instructions on the size and age of people who can ride in the front seats of the car.
- Always service the airbags after deployment or if the airbag light in the dash is illuminated or blinking.
Being sure to use airbags properly is a vital part of vehicle operation. Airbags save lives when used properly, and, when used improperly, can cause injury.
On occasion, airbags can cause injury even when used properly. One example would be defective Takata airbags, which can explode and send fragments of the airbag canister into the passenger area of the vehicle.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker we often help clients to determine if an injury caused by an airbag during a crash was caused by the automobile manufacturer or service provider. If you or a loved one was injured by an airbag deployment and you believe you were following the instructions in your vehicle’s owner’s manual you might be entitled to some compensation. Call us at 800-333-0000 to learn more.