How a life-saving tool can threaten your well-being
With a history tracing as far back as 1941, airbags are one of the biggest safety innovations in automobiles, rivaling the seatbelt. However, airbags are designed to deploy in the most serious accidents, and as a result they use extreme measures to protect passengers. Those extreme measures can also have serious effects on passenger health, and even their lives.
When working properly, an airbag deploys during a high-speed collision by rapidly filling fabric cushion with air through a chemical reaction. This slows the passenger’s body during an accident, and prevents them from colliding with the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. However, even in these ideal conditions, airbags can adversely affect passengers through:
- High-speed deployment. The impact against the fabric bag can cause severe abrasions or burns to the skin.
- Chemical components. The reaction that inflates an airbag can disperse chemical into the air, affecting a passengers breathing and even causing asthma attacks.
- Eye injuries. If a corner of an airbag hits someone in the eye, they can sustain severe injuries or even lose sight.
In addition, if an airbag sensor is malfunctioning, it can go off at the wrong time. If the vehicle is at a standstill, a passenger can suffer severe trauma from the impact of the deploying airbag, along with the other injuries listed above. When an airbag releases unexpectedly while driving, the driver can lose control of the vehicle, colliding with other drivers or running off the road.
Airbags were designed to save lives, but they can be equally hazardous in the wrong conditions. The Baltimore accident attorneys at Mallon & McCool, LLC have extensive experience representing victims involved in automobile-related injuries. They understand the benefits and the risks of airbag deployment and can help hold manufacturers responsible when an airbag does more to harm a passenger than protect them. Their law offices are located at 300 East Lombard Street in Baltimore, Maryland.