Injured by an Airbag

Airbags are designed to keep us safe but they seem to have a strange way of injuring us at the same time. In fact, airbags can sometimes cause even more severe injuries than they were intended to protect you from. Serious airbag injures are somewhat rare, but they can cause serious and life-altering personal injuries. You can take some steps to avoid being injured by an airbag. This article will describe how.

How Airbags Can Hurt You

An airbag is made out of a light fabric that is hidden underneath panels in your vehicle. Most commonly, airbags are stuffed into a steering wheel. When your vehicle hits another object and your crash sensor is tripped, a tiny explosion occurs in the airbag and it inflates very quickly to about the size of a beach ball. Once the crash sensor is tripped, it will only take 1/20th of a second for the airbag to fully inflate. When the inflated fabric is approaching your face it can be traveling at over 100 MPH.

Because so many body parts are exposed to airbags when they rapidly deploy, the types of injuries that can occur may range from mild to severe. Minor injuries can include irritation to your skin or eyes since an airbag can release different kinds of chemicals or dust. Major injuries are generally caused by the rapidity of the airbag’s deployment. Major injuries can include:

  • Severe abrasions or burns to the face, chest and upper extremities
  • Asthma attack from the chemicals released upon airbag deployment
  • Eye injury from direct contact with the airbag
  • Fractured or broken bones in the face, arms, wrists, skull or ribcage
  • Loss of consciousness or concussion
  • Laceration to the liver, spleen, heart, lungs or brain stem
  • Hearing loss or damage to the inner ear
  • Internal bleeding
  • Fetal injuries to the child of a pregnant women

Any of the above injuries can be very serious and can lead to long-lasting effects to your health. To avoid the most serious of these injuries it is always best to follow some standard safe practices when driving a car with airbags.

How to Prevent Airbag Injuries

One of the very best things any driver can do to prevent airbag injuries is to wear your seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt will significantly reduce the chances of severe injury from an airbag because the seatbelt will help keep you from making contact with the airbag too quickly. In fact, over 80% of people that were killed by an airbag were not wearing a seatbelt. Here are some other tips that can help you prevent serious injury from an airbag when you are involved in a car accident:

  • Keep your seat adjusted to at least 10 inches from the location of the airbag in your car
  • Do not allow a child that is 12 or under to ride in the front seat unless there is an on/off switch available for the passenger side airbag
  • Do not let children lean onto the doors of the vehicle where an impact could occur and where airbags could be hidden
  • Do not put a rear-facing child car seat in front of an airbag

Please be Safe

The manufacturers of airbags are continually working to improve their design and safety. Until they are able to perfectly keep car passengers safe, you should do you very best to keep safe on the Las Vegas roadways.

If you are involved in a car accident and you need a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney, we would be happy to discuss your case with you. We offer free consultations and our personal injury clients do not pay any money out of pocket. We are experts at making the insurance companies pay.

You can call us at 702-879-9555 or click here to request an appointment time.


Matt Pfau is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau. Matt has a background in business consulting, estate planning, business start-ups and bankruptcy and is licensed to practice in both Nevada and California. A partner in the firm Parry & Pfau, he can be reached at 702-879-9555 or