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Why didn’t the airbags deploy during my crash?

In the realm of automobile safety, few innovations have been as transformative as airbags. These cushioning devices are designed to provide additional protection during collisions, helping to reduce the risk of serious injury or even death. However, there are instances when these lifesaving mechanisms fail to deploy, leaving drivers and passengers bewildered and concerned.

Airbags are integral to a vehicle’s supplemental restraint system (SRS). These systems work in conjunction with seatbelts to provide optimal protection during a collision. When a vehicle experiences a sudden deceleration during a crash, sensors within the vehicle send signals to the airbag control module (ACM). The ACM processes this information and triggers the deployment of the airbags if the conditions warrant it. This entire process happens within milliseconds, aiming to shield occupants from potential harm.

Some Reasons for Airbag Non-Deployment

Severity of the Impact

One of the primary factors influencing airbag deployment is the severity of the impact. Airbags are typically designed to deploy in moderate to severe collisions, so minor accidents might not activate them. This is because deploying airbags in every minor bump could potentially cause more harm than good. If the impact does not meet the predetermined threshold for airbag deployment, they may remain inactive.

Angle of Impact

Airbags are designed to deploy primarily in head-on or frontal collisions. Side impacts or rear-end collisions might not meet the criteria for airbag deployment. The angle of impact and the location of the sensors play a crucial role in determining whether the airbags should deploy.

Sensor Failure or Malfunction

The sensors responsible for detecting an impact and communicating with the ACM must work properly. Sensor failure, damage, or malfunctions can prevent the system from accurately assessing the situation and deploying the airbags when necessary.

Vehicle Design and Quality

Manufacturing defects or design flaws in the airbag system can also lead to non-deployment. These issues might include faulty wiring, software glitches, or inadequate quality control during production.

The non-deployment of airbags in an auto crash can be a puzzling and distressing experience. While these life-saving devices have come a long way in enhancing road safety, their deployment is subject to many complex factors. Understanding the principles behind airbag activation and the conditions required for deployment can shed light on why they might not have deployed in a specific crash scenario.

Romano Law Group has decades of experience

If you find yourself in a situation where your airbags did not deploy during a collision, it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney to investigate the matter thoroughly. Romano Law Group has a team of experienced product liability attorneys who work with experts to help assess the vehicle’s systems, conduct diagnostic tests, and determine whether any contributing factors played a role in the non-deployment.

Authored by Jessica Latour, Esq.

Attorney Jessica Latour