While most Mississippi motorists and passengers alike are grateful for the airbags found in modern vehicles, and there is no doubt that this critical equipment is often responsible for saving lives and preventing serious harm, that is not to say that injuries never result from their deployment. As such, it is important to understand the very real dangers airbags can pose and the lingering negative effects they sometimes cause when motor vehicle accidents occur.
Hidden dangers of automotive airbags
Though there can be little doubt about the positive benefits of having airbags installed in motor vehicles, there are times when the type of collision that triggers their deployment unfolds at an angle or a degree of force that yields unintended consequences. Among the more commonly seen airbag-related harms are injuries such as:
- Fractured facial bones
- Trauma to the chest and heart
- Skin burns
- Internal bleeding
- Eye trauma
- Asthma attacks triggered by deployment chemicals
While the mode and manner of unfortunate motor vehicle accidents are things that cannot be predicted, there are certain steps that can be taken to help mitigate the risk of harm from airbag deployment. These include always wearing a seatbelt, keeping children out of the front seats, keeping the steering wheel tilted down and away from the driver’s chest, and ensuring proper installation of infant seats.
Important, but not infallible
The added safety value of airbags in today’s vehicles is beyond dispute. However, whether because of the physical forces at play in a given crash, or defective manufacture, installation or maintenance of a particular piece of equipment, they can and sometimes do produce life-changing harm to drivers and occupants alike. By gaining greater awareness of the benefits — as well as the limitations — of these safety devices, motorists can boost the chances of a safe, injury-free journey when hitting the open road.