Why can airbags be harmful?

I've heard horror stories of people getting hurt when airbags deployed. I thought they were to protect you in the event of an accident, so why do they cause harm?

Answer
“The horror stories are scary, but without airbags, injuries or death would be far more common after a car accident.
Airbags can cause harm when they deploy due to the force that they deploy at. If the impact of an accident is strong or severe enough, a sensor goes off in your vehicle. This causes chemicals in your car to burn off and fill your airbag with gas.
Once filled, the airbag deploys. An airbag can deploy at 200 miles an hour. The force of this against your body is what can cause damage.
Most commonly, people report broken bones. If you are sitting too close to the steering wheel or dashboard, you may also be burned or suffer other injuries. Not wearing a seatbelt can cause airbag injuries or death as nothing is restraining you.
However, any injuries from an airbag will typically be less severe than hitting a steering wheel or dashboard as long as you follow proper safety precautions and always wear a seatbelt. (And the medical bills will likely be lower, too.) Hitting a bag full of air is usually safer than hitting a plastic and metal dashboard—so despite the horror stories, airbags still do a lot to keep us safe!
Although we should always make sure to drive safely, accidents can still happen. Airbags are the last line of defense, since they will only go off in an accident, and are meant to protect you from serious injuries, or even death.
If you want to make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident, try using the Jerry app. Jerry will help you find the lowest prices on the coverage you want by pulling quotes from up to 50 top providers. Once Jerry finds the best deals, they’ll deliver the quotes right to your phone for free.”
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Emily Maracle
Answered on Sep 10, 2021
Emily Maracle is a car insurance specialist living in New York. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she has a degree in English Literature and a background in customer service. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and living sustainably. In the future, she can't wait to upgrade to a hybrid or electric car.
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