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Understanding airbag system in car

Posted May 14, 2024 by Fanshawe Driving School

It’s time to fully understand the airbag so as not to fear it. The goal of the airbag is to stop the forward motion of any occupant as quickly as possible to reduce any serious injuries. Some vehicles are now being equipped to have 10 or more airbags. There is more protection from serious injuries because of the addition of airbags compared to years ago. However, the airbag isn’t a big cushion that slowly comes out to protect you. It’s much more than that.

The force of the airbag could hurt anyone who is sitting too close to it. The first 5 to 8 cm from the airbag when it first deploys will deliver the most impact. Airbags generally deploy at 320 km/h and anywhere between 1/25 and 1/30 of a second. For anyone who sits too close to the steering wheel, the impact of the airbag could cause injury to them if it does deploy.

It is suggested to sit at least 25 cm from the centre of the steering wheel, where the airbag sits. That would allow the airbag to do the job it’s designed to do. When it comes to small children, it’s recommended that children 12 and under should be sitting in the rear seat. An airbag can seriously injure a small child if they’re sitting too close to the airbag, even if they are over 12 years old.

Proper seating position can make a big difference in airbag deployment and safety. When you’re driving, think about sitting in a position that protects you from any possible injury if the airbag deploys. Sit in a position that will allow you to control the vehicle so the airbag does not need to deploy. Think of the airbag as safety insurance.

Regardless of where you hold the wheel, your arms and hands will be thrown away from the airbag. The airbag itself is wider in diameter than most steering wheels. In that split second that the airbag deploys, the driver’s hands would be thrown off from the steering wheel to the sides. That will happen regardless of how the steering wheel is held.

Hold the steering wheel that gives you the best steering control so you can avoid having the airbag deploy. Don’t drive in fear. Drive with confidence.

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