How do airbags protect you?

How do airbags protect you?

What exactly are airbags?

Airbags are stretchy textiles or other materials that are firmly packed at various spots throughout your car. Most automobiles have airbags on the dashboard, as well as on the edges of various vehicles and edges of certain vehicles. These bags may be kept in a small space when compressed. They quickly refill with air after a crash to provide cushioning for individuals within so that they are not thrown around. While this does not always avoid destruction or death, it is frequently highly useful in cushioning the people in an extreme vehicle in many cases.

Interesting Fact About Air Bags

The first head-on accident involving two airbag-equipped vehicles happened in 1990, when two 1989 Chrysler LeBarons collided, activating the driver airbags in both vehicles. Despite the intensity of the collision, both drivers suffered just minor injuries.

How Airbags Assist?

An airbag is sometimes known as a supplemental restraint system (SRS) or supplemental inflatable restraint (SIR) (SIR). The term ”supplementary” refers to the fact that the airbag is intended to supplement, rather than replace, the seatbelts in protecting you (relying on an airbag to protect you without fastening your seatbelt is extremely dangerous).

The fundamental principle is that in an accident, the airbag inflates as soon as the automobile begins to slow down and deflates when your head presses against it. That’s significant because if the bag didn’t deflate, your head would just bounce back off it, leaving you no better off.

When a vehicle collides with anything, it begins to decelerate (lose speed) extremely quickly.

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The change in speed is detected by an accelerometer (an electrical device that monitors acceleration or force).

The accelerometer activates the airbag circuit if the deceleration is significant enough. Normal braking does not produce enough force to do this.

An electric current is sent through a heating element by the airbag circuit (a bit like one of the wires in a toaster).

A chemical explosion is ignited by the heating element. Sodium azide was utilized as the explosive in older airbags; modern ones use different compounds.

As the explosive burns, it emits a huge volume of harmless gas (usually nitrogen or argon) into a nylon bag placed behind the steering wheel.

As the bag swells, it blows the steering wheel’s plastic cover off and inflates in front of the driver. To aid in unwrapping, the bag is covered with a chalky material such as talcum powder.

The driver (who is going forward as a result of the accident) pushes up against the bag. The bag deflates when the gas within escapes via tiny holes around its edges. The bag should have entirely deflated by the time the automobile comes to a halt.

History of Airbags

Airbags have been in use since 1941. Walter Linderer, a German engineer, and John W. Hetrick, an American industrial engineer, invented the main airbags. Walter, who had applied for a patent on October 6, 1951, was granted one in November 1953. Hetrick had been given a patent three months earlier, on August 18, 1953.

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Various types of airbags are used all over the world.

Airbag for the Knee:
Airbag for the Knee
Airbag for the Knee
  • These airbags protect passengers’ knees.
  • This feature has been available as an option on the Kia Sportage since 1996. This airbag is usually located beneath the steering wheel. Knee airbags have been more common since the early 2000s due to their great efficiency.
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Frontal Airbag 
Frontal Airbag
Frontal Airbag

In 1987, the Porsche 944 Turbo was equipped with dual airbags for the driver and passenger as standard equipment for the first time.

Airbag on the side

Airbag on the side
Airbag on the side

Side airbags safeguard occupants in the case of a side collision.

There are two kinds of side airbags.

  1. Side Torso Airbag: This type of airbag inflates between the driver and the door to protect the torso in the event of a rollover or accident.
  2. Curtain Airbag: The curtain airbag is the second type of airbag that may be deployed. The airbag, which is placed on the roof, deploys like a curtain to offer side protection. 


There are several elements involved in the operation of airbags. To put it simply, airbags save our lives following an accident by utilizing a decomposition reaction. The Indian government intends to make dual airbags mandatory for all passenger vehicles from April 1, 2021. However, it does not apply to cars already on the road. We go over the rules. New vehicles must comply with the updated airbag standard by April 1, 2021, while older vehicles must comply by the end of August 2021. In India, there are many unanswered questions about airbags cars.