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Attorney Jordan Van Matre

What are airbag injuries?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Car Accidents

Airbags save lives. They’re specifically engineered to deploy rapidly upon impact in a wreck, acting as a cushion between a vehicle’s occupants and the steering wheel, dashboard and other hard surfaces.

However, even though their rapid deployment in a crash is necessary to prevent severe injuries, the force of the airbag’s explosion can also be a source of danger.

Common injuries associated with airbags

While airbags are credited with preventing numerous injuries, they can also cause specific types of injuries when they deploy. Some common injuries associated with airbag deployment include:

  • Abrasion and burns: The rapid deployment of an airbag can lead to friction burns and abrasions on the skin, particularly on a victim’s face and arms. These injuries, although generally minor, can still cause discomfort and require medical attention.
  • Facial injuries: The forceful inflation of an airbag may result in facial injuries, such as bruising, swelling or fractures. In rare cases, the impact can cause more severe injuries to the eyes, nose or jaw.
  • Upper body injuries: An airbag can cause severe injuries to a car accident victim’s upper body, particularly their fingers, hands and arms. Fractures and sprains are common.
  • Hearing damage: The loud noise produced by the deployment of an airbag can potentially cause hearing damage, including tinnitus or permanent hearing loss.

Several different factors can contribute to the occurrence and severity of injuries related to airbag deployment, including how close someone is seated to the steering wheel or dashboard when the airbag goes off. Malfunctions and defects in an airbag system itself can also cause airbags to deploy with excess force.

While the benefits of airbags far outweigh the risks, both drivers and passengers need to be aware of the potential for injuries stemming from them. If you’ve been injured by your airbag, it may be time to consider whether a personal injury claim is warranted.