Arizona Airbag Injuries
A Phoenix AZ wrongful death lawyer can assist victims, family members who suffer airbag related burns and injuries.
Airbags first were used in passenger cars in the 1970s. They were problematic in the beginning, but over time the auto engineers were able to refine and improve them. Even with all of the improvements to the airbags, there are times when they don’t work properly and people are injured.
An airbag is made from light fabric. They are located inside the steering wheel for the driver, and behind a panel in the dashboard for the passenger. Many cars also have air bags in their doors to help protect driver and passenger in side-impact crashes.
The driver side airbag is about the size of a beach ball when inflated. The passenger’s front air bag is bigger because it has a larger area to cover.
An airbag is connected to a crash sensor. In a severe crash, the crash sensor will immediately send gas to fill the airbag and deploy. This needs to happen very quickly in order to protect the driver and passenger from impact. The airbag will deploy in about 1/20th of a second, it can be a frightening, traumatic series of events for a driver, passengers.
Most problems with airbag deployment are related to the airbag sensor. The sensor can malfunction and deploy the airbag at the wrong time, even when there is no crash, not deploy the airbag during a crash, not deploy all appropriate airbags, or deploy the airbag too late, when the driver or passenger’s head is closer to the airbag.
In addition to the traditional airbag sensor problems, there are highly publicized problems with Takata airbags. Takata airbags have caused at least 15 deaths and 27 injuries in the United States. Because of these tragedies, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled the airbags in approximately 37 million cars, only about 58% have been repaired. The Takata air bags can inflate with too much force causing a metal canister to explode. This has resulted in metal shrapnel spraying into vehicles. A Phoenix AZ wrongful death lawyer can advise persons injured, or his or her family members.
Takata uses ammonium nitrate to cause an explosion to deploy their airbags in a crash. The ammonium nitrate deteriorates when exposed to prolonged high heat and humidity. This makes it burn faster than intended and blow apart the canister which is supposed to contain the explosion. The older the airbag, the more likely it is to malfunction. Cars in hot and humid regions are more likely to have problems.
Certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles, 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-series trucks are at a higher risk for an air bag explosion, that can injure vehicle occupants.
When an airbag deploys it usually releases some dust and chemicals. These can irritate the eyes, skin, or even the lungs and airways. Additional injuries from an airbag may include abrasions, burns, or scarring from the deployment. Sometimes an asthma attack or serious eye injuries may occur. When serious injuries occur as a result of an airbag deployment a Phoenix AZ wrongful death lawyer should be consulted.