Airbags were first invented and placed into vehicles back in the 1970’s. But, it was not until the mid 1980’s did they become more common. In 1998, the United States mandated that all vehicles be equipped with dual front airbags.
The car airbag evolution continues as scientists think of more advanced ways of saving lives. In 2008 Toyota came out with a rear curtain shield airbag to protect the rear occupants. In 2009, Toyota came out with a rear-seat center airbag to help protect occupants incase of a side collision. And in 2009, Lexus has come out with a seatbelt airbag which is basically that the actual seatbelt inflates when the car accident occurs. These are great new items, says Kentcucky car accident attorney, Andrew Alitowski.
Though airbags are made to save lives, unfortunately sometimes they do not function or function improperly and injuries from them deploying do occur. Thus whenever you are in a car you should always wear your seatbelt. You should not rely on a car airbag to save your life. Second, you should stay well back from the steering wheel. Studies show that the height of a driver or passenger does affect the outcome in a car accident from a seatbelt and so this should be considered when entering a vehicle.
Third, when driving, you should keep your hands at the 10 and 2 positions. This will help protect you incase of the airbag going off, your arms won’t hit you in the face. Fourth, do not drive leaning over the steering wheel. Fifth, make sure children in the car are in the back seat; secured in car seats if so mandated. Unfortunately, children and infants are at the highest risk of sustaining injuries from a airbag going off. And sixth, if you have a passenger in the back seat, do not have dry cleaning or anything else hanging from the sides because if the side airbags go off, these items can become objects that hit and can cause injuries to those passengers. Mr. Alitowski as a Kentucky car accident attorney can help explain these things to you.
In a recent 2007 study, Dr. Craig Newgard of Oregon Health & Science University discovered that airbags do cause more injuries to short and tall front seat passengers. Dr. Newgard analyzed injury statistics from 1995-2005 from car accidents where airbags went off. There were over 50,000 drivers and 14,000 passengers in this study. His study concluded that an average height person from 5’3” to 5’11”, they were adequately protected. But a driver taller than 6’3” was at a 5% greater risk for injury, and that a driver 4’11” or shorter was at a 4% greater risk for injury. And he concluded that weight did not affect the results.
Also, there have been studies that children who sit in the front and are involved in a car accident where the airbag goes off, are 14 times more likely to suffer tinnitus than a child that is seated in the back. A Kentucky car accident attorney can help explain all this to you. Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom. It has been described as a constant ringing or buzzing sound in one’s ear. Tinnitus is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. When an car airbag goes off it is very loud, sudden, and explosive particles shout out and strike the person seated in front of it. This combination is what causes the tinnitus.
If you have been involved in a car accident where an airbag has gone off and need legal representation, please call the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!