One of the safety tools installed in most modern vehicles is the airbag. Airbags are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe in case of any car collisions. However, there are cases of airbag deployment related injuries, either due to the airbag failing to inflate or a traumatic impact to the body caused by forceful contact with the airbag or a certain part of the car. While accidents are certainly hard to prevent, you may be able to avoid airbag deployment injuries from happening by being more conscientious of your driving or riding habits. Here are some practical tips you may want to follow:
Wear seat belts at all times – There’s a perfectly good reason for the constant reminder from authorities on the importance of always strapping the seat belts in: they protect you from vehicle accidents. In fact, airbags are created to reinforce or complement seat belts, not to replace them. Always fasten your seat belt properly so regardless of whether the airbag successfully deploys or not, you have a primary safety tool in place.
Children 12 years old and under should occupy the back seats – There are reported cases of airbag deployment related injuries involving kids who have seriously injured their neck or torso because although the airbags were deployed during the accidents, they still experienced full impact as they were seated at the front. Make sure young kids are seated at the back and that they are wearing their seat belts at all times to avoid getting injured in case a vehicle collision occurs. Also, infants and toddlers must be properly strapped in kid car seats at the back.
Keep as much distance as possible from the passenger side dashboard and steering wheel – Avoid sitting too closely to the steering wheel or passenger dashboard so in case a car accident occurs and the airbag gets deployed, you wouldn’t experience full impact. Remember that even though the airbag has deployed, you can still get airbag injuries like head or neck injuries, facial trauma, and even spine fractures.
Place your fingers outside the steering wheel’s rim – If you’re the driver, don’t put your fingers, particularly your thumb, inside the steering wheel. This is to avoid being in an awkward, and potentially dangerous, position in case a car crash happens. Also try to hold the steering wheel in 9 and 3 o’clock or 8 and 4 o’clock positions so you can avoid getting your wrist fractured in case the airbag gets deployed.
Keep calm and alert at all times – If you’re the driver, make sure to check yourself carefully after the crash to see if you have any kind of pain. If you have any passengers, check on them too so you can take note of and eventually report any symptoms of airbag deployment related injuries that either you or your passengers may have experienced.
It pays to be prepared, alert and vigilant at all times to prevent any injuries from happening during a car crash. If a car accident ever does happen, report it to authorities immediately. For information about your rights to claim health treatment for personal injury during car accidents, go online for resources. You may visit Peterson Law Offices, for starters. Their website is injurylaworegon.com.
James Farragher Campbell is a nationally recognized expert in the law of DUI and vehicular homicide and one of the country’s most successful DUI defense lawyers.