Product Liability Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Defective Airbags throughout Georgia Including Atlanta, Cumming and Alpharetta

The seatbelt restraint system was the original vehicle safety device to enter the scene in the early 1950’s. After the seatbelt, the most innovative vehicle safety device was the airbag in the mid-1970’s. The airbag is made up of a flexible fabric envelop or cushion-like design that inflates rapidly during an automobile collision. The airbag has proven effective for cushioning the occupants during an accident and providing protection for their bodies from interior objects such as the steering wheel or the window. America’s modern automobiles may contain up to several airbags in various impact zones of the vehicle. Today’s safest automobiles on the market are equipped with both frontal airbags and side-impact airbags.

While many drivers are fully aware of the safety benefits of frontal airbags, many people are unaware of the safety advantages of side-impact airbags. Side-impact airbags are more than just a fancy name or added feature; they can literally save the lives of those sitting in the rear of a vehicle. The most commonly used side-impact airbags are the side torso airbag and the side curtain airbag. Most of the vehicles that come with side curtain airbags are also manufactured with side torso airbags, with the exception of some models.

About Side-Impact Airbags

Side-impact airbags, otherwise known as side torso airbags are usually located in the seat. These inflate between the occupant and the door, and they are specifically designed to reduce the risk of injuries to the pelvis and the lower abdomen.

Curtain side-impact airbags are known for reducing the risk of traumatic brain injuries and fatalities by a significant percentage. Curtain airbags come in various forms including: tubular, curtain, and door-mounted. A number of modern SUVs are equipped with a long inflatable curtain airbag that protects all three rows of seats and occupants.

Frontal airbags have been required in all passenger sized cars since 1998, and they have been standard in all trucks, vans and SUVs since 1999. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side-impact crashes accounted for 27 percent of the passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States in 2009. The Institute says that these types of crashes are particularly deadly due to the fact that the sides of a vehicle have little space to absorb the energy from a collision and shield the occupants. When you take into consideration the fact that often times the occupants in the rear of a vehicle are young children or infants, then it becomes extremely obvious how important it is to focus on protecting them in side-impact collisions, and side-impact airbags are known for being one of the most effective safety features for occupants in the rear of the vehicle.

In 2003, the IIHS began analyzing actual crash data as it pertained to side-impact collisions. It was revealed that the vehicles with good side ratings provided occupants with far more protection than those vehicles that performed poorly on their tests. In 2011, the Institute determined that 78 percent of the current vehicle designs tested had good side ratings, as compared to one third of the vehicles tested in the first two years of the program. Previous research had already revealed the importance of side airbags, and not one vehicle without head-protecting airbags has ever earned a “good” rating with the Institute.

Side-impact airbags are essential for protecting the safety of rear passengers, and for protecting their abdomen, chest and head from striking hard objects in serious side-impact or t-bone collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that if all vehicles came equipped with side-impact airbags in the United States, we could save nearly 1,000 lives from side-impact crashes every year. Many of today’s modern vehicles are equipped with both front and side airbags; however, only frontal airbags are presently required by the National Highway Traffic Association.

Contact a Compassionate Personal Injury Attorney

With passenger occupant deaths reaching approximately 10,000 each year due to side-impact collisions, manufacturers are more than aware of the fact that side-impact airbags can save lives. When one takes into account the fact that infants and children are virtually unprotected in the event of a side-impact collision, you would think that more auto manufacturers would make side-impact airbags a standard feature in all of their automobiles; however, they have not made side-impact airbags standard in all new automobiles, and we find this absolutely unacceptable.

There is no reason why innocent lives should be lost at the expense of cutting costs, especially when many of them are the children of the driver and passengers sitting in the front of the vehicle. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a defective airbag or due to lack of a side-impact airbag, then we encourage you to contact our firm to find out if you have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the automotive manufacturer.