The Life-Saving Purpose of Airbags in Cars

May 20, 2024

Have you ever thought about the importance of the airbags in your car? You may take them for granted and only think about them once you need them. However, airbags have saved many lives since their introduction. In this article, we’ll explore the life-saving purpose of airbags in cars and how they work.

Airbags are specially designed supplemental restraint systems (SRS) built into the car’s dashboard, steering wheel, and seatbelts. They protect drivers and passengers in case of a crash by reducing the force of impact on their bodies. They are often a standard safety feature in modern vehicles; however, the technology behind airbags wasn’t always as advanced as it is today.

The history of airbags goes back to the early 1950s, when John W. Hetrick, an industrial engineer, first proposed the concept of a compressed air cushion that could deploy when a car was in a collision. Hetrick’s invention was inspired by the safety features of aircraft, such as seatbelts and airbags. Eventually, car manufacturers took notice of Hetrick’s invention and began developing their airbag systems.

General Motors introduced the first commercial airbag system in 1973. However, these airbags did not deploy quickly and were not efficient enough to keep up with the speed of car accidents, leading to many injuries and deaths. It wasn’t until the 1990s that car manufacturers developed airbags that were more reliable and effective in preventing fatalities.

Today, most of the cars on the market are designed with advanced airbag systems. These systems are designed to work in unison with the vehicle’s seat belts for maximum safety. When a car is involved in a crash, the airbags are triggered by sensors that detect sudden changes in the vehicle’s speed, deceleration, and angle. The sensors then send a signal to the airbag control unit, which inflates the airbags within milliseconds. The airbags reduce the amount of impact by absorbing the energy of the crash and cushioning the driver and passengers.

There are several types of airbags used in modern vehicles. The most common type is the front airbag, which is mounted on the steering wheel and dashboard. This type of airbag is triggered in front-end collisions and is designed to protect the driver and front-seat passenger from hitting hard surfaces inside the car. There is also a side airbag that protects during side-impact collisions. These airbags are mounted on the sides of the car’s seats and are designed to impact the side of the car to provide additional protection.

Another type of airbag is the curtain airbag, which is mounted along the roof of the car and protects the driver from head injuries in a side-impact collision. Lastly, car manufacturers also equip their vehicles with knee airbags, which are designed to reduce the driver’s leg injuries. These airbags are mounted under the dashboard and protect the driver’s knees and legs in case of a crash.

While airbags offer incredible protection to the driver and passengers, they are not a substitute for seatbelts. Seatbelts are a crucial part of car safety and work in tandem with airbags to provide maximum protection in the event of a crash.

Airbags are a crucial component of modern vehicles and have saved many lives since their inception in the 1950s. As technology and design continue to advance, airbags will continue to become more efficient and reliable in protecting drivers and passengers. So, the next time you’re on the road, be sure to wear your seatbelt and drive safely. If you ever find yourself in need of car repairs, contact Kolex Collision Center. We are here to provide expert collision repair services to get you back on the road safely.