Airbags are intended to prevent your head or upper body from striking the steering wheel and other hard surfaces inside your vehicle when you get in a car accident. Unfortunately, while airbags have saved countless lives, they can also cause injuries of their own. Here are six hidden dangers of having an airbag deploy during a collision.
The sound of cars colliding may be loud, but the noise an airbag makes when it deploys is the most likely cause of car-accident-related hearing loss. After all, the human ear may suffer irreversible damage if exposed to sounds above 90 dB, and the small explosion that inflates an airbag can be as loud as 160 decibels (dB). As a result, you may hear a ringing in your ears or experience hearing loss after a car accident.
You may experience vision problems after a car accident if an airbag hits your eyes directly or fractures a bone in your skull, which may damage your optic nerve. Airbags are also filled with sodium azide, the gas-forming compound that makes airbags expand on impact, which may cause eye irritation if an airbag ruptures.
Airbags deploy with such force that they can break the fragile bones near your eyes and nose, damage your teeth, or fracture your jaw. At the very least, facial bruising may occur.
Thermal and Chemical Burns
When the fabric of an airbag scrapes against your skin at high speeds, you may suffer a thermal “rug burn.” Chemical burns can also occur if the sodium azide and nitrogen gas in the airbags get released into the cabin. These burns may be severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention.
Back and Neck Injuries
Airbags are effective at preventing head injuries in serious collisions. However, they put extensive pressure on the neck and upper back, increasing the risk of whiplash and spinal cord injuries. While these outcomes are less severe than a traumatic brain injury, you may still require months of physical therapy to be pain-free again.
By stopping your body from slamming into sharp or protruding objects inside the vehicle, airbags help prevent numerous internal injuries. Unfortunately, the risk of internal trauma still exists when your body is subjected to a rapidly deploying airbag. These injuries may include:
- Fractured ribs, which could potentially puncture a lung
- Damaged liver, kidney, spleen, or heart
- Internal bleeding and bruising on the chest
- Lung irritation caused by inhaling sodium azide
If you have been in a collision with a negligent driver and suffered airbag-related injuries, don’t ignore your pain and trauma! After all, you could be eligible for compensation from the at-fault driver. For help navigating the claims process, get in touch with Childers and Associates. We have over 30 years of experience as a car accident lawyer in Virginia, so we’re ready to work hard for you! Call our Manassas, VA, office at (703) 330-6300 today to request your free case review.