The SUV Rollover Lawyers Network

Airbags in Rollovers

Airbags were created as a safety device, to be used in conjunction with seatbelts and provide added protection. Required by law to be installed in most vehicles, they have proven to be as much of a safety hazard as they are a protection, and current designs do little to help in a rollover accident.

How airbags are supposed to work

Airbags are hidden in various areas throughout the vehicle, such as the dash. A sensor detects when the vehicle has a collision, and signals the airbag to deploy. The airbag fills quickly and bursts into the vehicle, moving at a speed of up to 200 miles per hour. Then it immediately deflates.

Problems with airbags

Airbags can cause injuries in many ways. Common problems with airbags include:

  • Failure to deploy during a crash
  • Deployment when there is no crash – causing an accident
  • Deploying with too much force – causing injuries
  • Improperly filtered airbag gases – causing chemical burns

Airbags which deploy with too much force, or used with children or small adults can cause serious injuries including:

  • Eye and eye socket injuries
  • Broken arms and wrists
  • Neck injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Brain injury
  • Death

Special airbags for rollover protection

Auto makers are beginning to use airbags designed specifically to protect vehicle occupants in rollover accidents. These are head curtain airbags which have been modified to be effective in rollover conditions.
Head curtain air bags deploy downward covering the side window and roof pillars of the vehicle. They should protect occupants from impact and from ejection. When modified for rollover protection, they stay inflated for a longer period of time than normal airbags, because a rollover accident typically lasts longer than other types of collisions. A gyroscopic sensor can also be used to trigger the rollover airbags, when the vehicle rolls without a collision.

Under the right circumstances airbags can save lives. Rollover protection airbags are a great improvement. No airbag, however, can provide adequate protection from roof crush. Airbags which malfunction and deploy when there has been no accident can be the cause of a rollover. Most rollovers, about 85%, are single vehicle accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an SUV rollover accident caused by defective tires, please e-mail us today to speak with an experienced SUV rollover lawyer.


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