Car Crash Life Savers

By Rubber Ducky


Have you ever driven by or been in an accident with the car dented and the airbags deployed? If you have, you can probably tell itÕs a bad accident.  What happens before the police and ambulance get there?  One thing you can count on to help is the airbag, and this report is all about them.  If you continue reading you will find our what it is, the history, how it works and some of the newer technology of the airbag.

What it is


Are there airbags on the outside of the car? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety, yes, there are.  They have made some cars that; when you are about to hit a person, deploy an airbag on the outside of the car. I think thatÕs cool because itÕs much nicer to be hit by an airbag than solid metal.


Once seatbelts became mandatory, what happened to airbags?  According to the Wikimedia project, once seatbelts became mandatory, the newest models of airbags became less important and more forgotten for the next while, but eventually the airbags became more important. Before seatbelts became mandatory, airbags were getting worked on to improve allot because if you didnÕt have a seatbelt, the only thing to help you in a car crash is the airbag, but once they became mandatory, the airbag was sufficient for the time being.


Are and were airbags required in all vehicles?  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Now they are required in every single car that is made in the U.S.A., or that are shipped in. But they didn't used to be.  Before 1999, only some cars had airbags, but the president at that time issued a law that said that every car has to have an airbag. That means that before 1999, you only had an airbag if you wanted it and if you were in a car without an airbag, and you got in a crash, it was a really dangerous position for you.


How many lives can be saved in 18 years?  According to the Wikimedia project, from 1990 to 2008 the agency estimates that the airbag has saved more than 6,377 lives during that time.  There used to be about 53 deaths per year in car crashes in the U.S.A. but now with the airbag required, there have been injuries, but the deaths have been cut in half and then some. 


How it works

How long does it take for an airbag to ÒpoofÓ up? According to Marshall Brain, It bursts out of its storage container at 200 mph. and inflates faster than the blink of an eye in just a fraction of a second.  The whole process happens faster than a twenty-fifth of a second. In order to fulfill itÕs job, the airbag has to be able to ÒpoofÓ up fast enough to stop the person from hitting their head on the steering wheel or dashboard, which means it has to ÒpoofÓ up very fast.


What fills the airbag and how does it deflate? According to Marshall Brain, when there is a collision that is the force of hitting a brick wall at 10-15 mph, the airbag instantly puffs up, filled with hot nitrogen. The airbag deflates through the tiny holes in the bag.  The airbag's purpose is to keep the person from hitting the steering wheel or having whiplash, so once it has done its job, it can deflate because it is no longer useful.

At the first signal of a crash, does the airbag deploy?  According to Mid-South Rescue Technology, no, each sensor must receive two signals to deploy the airbag in a crash.  If each sensor receives two signals, then it can tell it is a crash hard enough to cause enough damage to injure the person, then it sends a signal to the airbag.  If the airbag deploys in a non-forceful crash, then it can cause more damage than it can help.


Does wearing a seatbelt alter the way the airbag deploys?  According to the Wikimedia Project, yes, it does.  In some of the newer cars, it can tell if you are wearing a seatbelt and it can alter the course of the airbag to make it most effective.  In other words, if one person were wearing a seatbelt and another wasnÕt, and they got in a car crash, they would both get maximum protection, instead of the person with the seatbelt on getting more.

New technology

Is there a newer airbag design coming out? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, yes, there is.  They are coming up with the idea of making an inflating seatbelt, especially for the back seat riders.  It will inflate just like any other airbag, except on the seatbelt you are in, so it can hold you back without hurting you as much in a car crash.  I think thatÕs cool because in a car crash, when you jerk forwards, and the airbag digs into your skin, you can have a sort of cushion so it doesnÕt hurt as much.



That was some of the history, what it is, new tech, and how it works with airbags. I hope this taught you something.