Airbags – Things you might not know

May 29, 2017
In recent years, airbags have become standard equipment in all vehicles thanks to its function of protecting occupants against injury during collisions.
When an accident occurs, airbags inflate faster than you can blink your eye. As a result, we do not usually have the opportunity to see how they actually work.
 

Airbags is deploying inside a car

When an accident occurs, airbags inflate faster than you can blink your eye

It is obvious that "airbag" is a familiar term to all drivers. However, we believe that there are many useful knowledge about airbags that road users are still unware of. Therefore, our article will help deepen your understanding of airbags safety.

1. Airbags don’t always inflate when collisions occur

Many people claim that airbags will automatically deploy after a vehicle collision has been detected. That’s actually not the case.

>>> Click here to read about Subaru recall announcement of over 33,000 vehicles due to airbag problem

Your airbag system is monitored and controlled by the computer and a network of sensors. The sensors read the severity and location of an impact or a collision and then send that information to the computer. The computer then determines if the criteria warrant deploying the airbags.
 

How airbags work

If your airbags don’t inflate in a serious collision, perhaps there are not enough conditions for airbags deployment. For example, if you’re driving slower than 12 - 18 mph, the airbags will not inflate.

2. Do airbags only activate when you are wearing seat belts?

This depends on the vehicles of each car manufacturer. Most Japanese carmakers, including Toyota, make airbags and seat belts independent of each other. Therefore, your airbags will be active even when seat belts aren’t fastened.  

Airbags system in car

Most Japanese carmakers, including Toyota, make airbags and seat belts independent of each other

Some German brands such as Volkswagen and BMW also use the same design. Even, for BMW, if passengers haven’t fastened the seat belts, the airbags will be more sensitive and deploy sooner than expected.

>>> Click here to get more information of which models to be recalled by BMW PH because of airbag issues.

On the other hand, if you possess a Mercedes, you are forced to wear seat belts in order that the airbags system can work in case of vehicle collisions. For these kinds of vehicle, you must take notice of the airbag indicator on the dashboard. When the indicator is off, it means you have forgotten your seat belts.

Airbag indicator on dashboard

When the indicator is off, it means you have forgotten your seat belts

>>> Have you known the meaning of all car warning signs on dashboard? Click here to find out the 6 most important signs.

3. Other things to remember

  • The explosion of the airbag will create a very powerful force. Thus, you mustn’t place or install more objects on the front airbags for the driver and passenger seats. Moreover, after the explosion, you shouldn’t touch the parts inside the airbags since you can get badly burned.
  • Don’t sit too close to the airbag system or put your hands on the airbags.
  • Don’t let your kids sit in the front seats.
  • Have your airbags checked regularly. If an airbag hasn’t been deployed, it must be replaced. Remember that airbags can’t be reused and never attempt to replace an airbag on your own.

For more useful safe driving tips and advice, please click here.