What to Know About Your Car's Airbags

What to Know About Your Car’s Airbags

November 1, 2018

Airbags go mostly unseen, hidden away in areas inside your car. Nevertheless, there are things your local auto shop in Everett, WA wants you to know about them. Read on for some helpful info!

How airbags work

We’ve all seen commercials showing how airbags work on a car full of dummies. In slow motion, those airbags look kind of soft and squishy, like giant marshmallows or body pillows. The reality is that airbags are manufactured and installed in vehicles as means of protection against serious bodily harm in the event of a collision. They pop out fast and hard—sometimes they help a lot, and sometimes not so much:

  • Where they are stored: Airbags in cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and other motor vehicles are packed into the steering wheel, seats and dashboards. They’re soft only when they’re packed away.
  • The meaning of “airbag”: The word “airbag” is just a term used in the auto industry. The truth is, there’s no significant amount of actual air in these types of cushions. More accurately, your airbags are shaped and vented nylon-fabric pillows that fill up with nitrogen gas when deployed.
  • What they do: Airbags are meant to supplement seatbelt restraints—they help distribute the strain put on your body during an accident to minimize injury. The initial collision of a vehicle with another vehicle or object lasts only milliseconds, so airbags must work quickly if they’re to get between you and another part of the vehicle’s interior in time.
  • An engaged airbag: An opened airbag can stop a person’s body from colliding with the steering wheel, seat, dashboard or interior side panel. It is designed to cushion bodies from making violent contact with these interior objects. But an airbag can injure people; it’s important to remember that every airbag deployment is a contained and directed explosion.

After airbag deployment

You don’t have to be in a catastrophic collision for airbags to deploy. Depending on which airbag sensors are triggered, it can take as little force as sudden braking or as much violence as running into a guardrail at 60 mph for airbags to deploy. Here are a few steps to take after airbag deployment:

  • Check for injuries: Check yourself and all passengers for injuries, such as burns, broken bones, locked joints and unconsciousness. The most common post-airbag deployment complaints include headaches, sore muscles and body aches.
  • Shut off the car: If your vehicle did not shut off after the airbags deployed, turn it off and take the keys out of the ignition. This can reduce the chances of explosions and fuel leak fires. Next, get yourself and all your passengers out of the car and safely away from traffic.
  • Take your car to a repair shop: Unless your vehicle is completely totaled, call a towing company to take your car to your auto repair shop. Once there, a mechanic will inspect the body damage and look into replacing your airbags.

If you need the services of a reliable auto shop in Everett, WA, look no further than Auto Truck Service Inc.

Call us today!

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