Everything You Need to Know About Your Car’s Safety Airbags

September 13th, 2022 by

Benefits, Risks and Safety of Your Car Airbags

 Did you know airbags reduce fatalities in the driver’s seat by 29%? Accidents happen all the time, and when they do, you want to have peace of mind that you’re safe and protected. If you’re purchasing a car, it’s crucial to know about the benefits and risks of airbags.

If you’re wondering what happens when an airbag deploys, you’ve come to the right place. We are going to tell you everything you need to know about airbag safety. 

History of Car Airbags

As technology has advanced, the airbag has become more refined and effective. The first airbag was patented in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the United States slowly started to accept car airbags.

In 1998, laws were put in place to require all cars in the United States to have airbags in the front. When they were first installed in an automobile, they were faulty and would often release without cause. Nowadays, airbags are equipped to adjust based on the person’s size and what positions they are sitting in.  

What Are Airbags

The law requires car manufacturers to include airbags in specific regions of the car. However, many add more than the minimum requirement. Airbags are not intended to save lives on their own and they are not replacements for seatbelts. They are called supplemental restraint systems, meaning they work with seat belts to prevent injuries. 

Airbags are nylon fabric bags that are released when the car makes contact with another object. The bag will be filled with nitrogen gas during the collision. Once the car airbags make contact with the driver and passenger, it deflates. If the bag doesn’t deflate after you come in contact, it wouldn’t have any safety benefits. The bag absorbs the impact. The purpose of the bags is to act as a cushion so you won’t hit your body against the car. It helps to minimize injuries and keep you inside the car. 


The purpose of car airbags is to protect your head, neck, and spine. Airbags also help reduce the risk of you and your passenger being ejected from the car. Airbags do not replace seat belts, but are meant to add supplemental protection. 

Risks of Airbags

While airbags have been known to save lives and reduce injuries during a crash, they do pose some risks. Car airbags are released extremely fast, up to 200 miles per hour. If you’re sitting too close and the bag deploys, you could sustain some fractures, possibly even internal injuries. 

The electrical signal that releases the nitrogen gas can cause gasoline fumes and other elements to be ignited, which could result in burns. Airbags are covered in talcum powder. When the bag is released there is a chance the powder will get into your lungs causing a variety of respiratory issues. 


Airbag placement is crucial, and they are located in a few different areas of the care to maximize protection. The frontal bags are placed in the steering wheel, on the driver’s side, and on the passenger side located in the instruction panel. There are bags located on the sides of the doors. This prevents your head and body from being thrown against or out the window.

Oftentimes there are bags positioned down by the knees to protect your legs. The last ones are located on the roof and deploy downwards. This prevents you from hitting the top of your head. The goal of the bags is to minimize how much you move. Once the airbags are deployed they can’t be reused. You’ll need to have a professional reinstall them before your drive again. 

Airbags and Children

Car airbags are meant to protect and reduce injuries; however, they can be very dangerous for children. The speed of the airbag can do more harm than good. It’s recommended that children under the age of thirteen shouldn’t be sitting in the front seat. However, if you don’t have another option, slide the seat back as far as possible and be sure they are wearing the seat belt properly over their chest and lap.

If you have an infant, it’s important that you never put them in the front seat. Even if they are in a rear-facing car seat, they should be in the back. The force of the airbags could be fatal for young children and infants. 

How to Turn the Airbags Off 

Airbags today are designed so you don’t have to turn them on and off. If there is someone sitting in the passenger side and they don’t reach the minimum weight requirements, the bag will likely be turned off automatically. The passenger side is typically easier to turn off than the driver’s side. If you need them turned off, it’s recommended that you consult a professional. 


There are many airbag features that help guarantee your safety and the safety of your passengers. As technology has advanced, the safer driving a car becomes. When you’re driving around, you want to know that if the unexpected happens you are safe. 

Learn More: Decode Your Dash: What Your Car Emergency Warning Lights Mean

Your Safety On The Road Is Our Top Priority 

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We have helped many drivers feel safe in their cars, and would love to help you find the perfect, and safest, car for your everyday commutes. Use the button below or visit our website to connect with a member of our team! 

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