Why The Airbag Might Not be Safe!

The aftermath of the TAKATA airbag incident: The United States will recall another 1.4 million cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that the United States will recall 1.4 million vehicles using TAKATA air-bags, as a result of new quality problems of the airbag produced by TAKATA, Japan. On Dec.4th, the NHTSA announced that it was found that TAKATA airbags could be broken or inflated when in a high-temperature and damp-heat environment, and that such accidents have occurred.

According to CNBC, the recall covers some vehicles including BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi produced between 1995 and 2000. BMW has already issued a recall notice, recalling 116000 problematic malfunctioned motor vehicles in three periods and advising owners of 8000 of them not to use them on the road until they are fixed.

The function principle of airbag


Known as the front seat Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag system, the airbag in the front seat of the car, must be used with the seat belt. In other words, whenever there is a front impact occurs, the sensor senses that the impact coming from the front surpasses a certain amount (the impact force when hitting thick concrete at the speed of 25km/h), the system starts, and the airbag instantly filled with air to reduce the impact on the steering wheel and dashboard when the motorist’s head and chest come into contact with both of them.

The airbag on the driver’s side is placed into the steering wheel and the airbag in the passenger seat is placed in the dashboard. After sensing the impact, the airbag only needs approximately 0.2s to complete a series of processes from expansion to contraction. At the same time, in order to reduce the damage caused by the rapid expansion of airbags, people are studying a better method of airbag folding.

So, with the aim of lowering the damage as a result of the instant expansion of airbags, there are the following misunderstandings you should know, which could increase the safety when using airbags and also reduce the risk.

Four potential hidden dangers of airbags.

1. Quality problem of airbag itself

The main material that makes up the airbags is nylon 66. The silicone resin is stuck on a dense cloth made of nylon fiber, which makes the cloth has non-air permeability, and two such circular-shaped cloth is sewn into a bag-shaped model as we know airbag.
There are a lot of requirements for the quality of the airbag: for example, air-tightness, tensile strength, bursting strength, abrasion property, flame-retardant property and so on. The most important thing here is the requirements of bursting strength, we must use the professional Bursting Strength Tester to meet the corresponding standard requirements, in order to ensure the practicability of airbags. Check this out for more details.

2. It is really dangerous to use the airbag alone


In case of an accident, using the airbag together with the seat belt can effectively provide protection from collision. A large number of simulation tests and statistics show that in all potentially fatal car accidents, the correct use of seat belts can save about 45% of lives. If using the seat belt together with the airbag at the same time correctly, the ratio will be increased to 60%. BUT! If you use the airbag only, without fastening the seat belt, and the ratio will generally not exceed 5%.

You can imagine, if you don’t fasten your seat belt, the pop-up airbag just like a sledgehammer, smashing into your face, or even in a more vulnerable part of your body, could do very much damage.

3. The child sits in the passenger seat.

When the height of a child does not meet the requirements, seat belts can not be properly fastened to the child’s body in case of an accident. As you know seat belts not only play a protective role, but also may hold the child’s body back within the seat. Secondly, the airbag can pop up to 180 kilograms of impact force, the child’s body is not strong enough, such strength to the head, neck and other vulnerable parts of the human body is difficult to bear.

It’s important to note that whenever you drive, fasten your seat belt, and let the child sit in the rear of the car so as to avoid the impact of the airbag. If you put a child sit in the passenger seat, be sure to use a children’s seat and turn off the airbag.

4. The airbag needs regular checks with no sundries around it


The airbag needs to be checked regularly, although it is not a vulnerable part, and we will not use it normally. But it’s best to check every one or two thousand kilometers of driving.

Also, what we need to be clear, is not to place objects around the airbag. Whenever the airbag pops up, the great impact force touches the objects, and if the object is a fragile or sharp thing, the damage to the human body is immeasurable, especially to the head. Sincerely, try your best to avoid this.

Final thoughts

In the end, there is no absolute safety, and passive safety is always less than the active safety, which is more beneficial to the people’s life, and I hope that all of us can start from ourselves, improve the danger consciousness, and be careful to drive. Keep away from dangers.

About Henrietta Milanovska