My daughter was in an accident with her Focus on Tuesday. A 90 year old
woman turned in front of her and my daughter didn't even have enough time to
hit the brakes. The Focus is totaled, but something my daughter said about
the airbags is bothering me. She said that when the airbags went off, both
the drivers and passengers side airbags deployed, but while the passenger
side airbad deflated the drivers side then "exploded". I haven't had a
chance to really inspect the car carefully enough to really determine what
happened, my question is does this sound normal? I realize that it would be
easy enough for someone to think that the bag "exploded" when it deployed,
but she definately said that the "explosion" came after the initial
deployment. When I do get a chance tomorrow to inspect the car, what
should I expect to see with the bags? Should there be any opening in the
bags or should they remain intact? Thanks for any help.......
They're supposed to deflate rapidly once they activate. Otherwise you
would just bounce off them, rather than get slowed down. They have small
holes in the side which allow the gas to escape.
See http://auto.howstuffworks.com/airbag.htm for a full explanation.
The passenger airbag didn't deflate as fast because nothing hit it to
force the gas out.
Ok, I went and looked at the car today and what I saw is not what I
expected. The drivers side airbag was split right in the middle where she
would have hit the bag. This doesn't appear right to me.....at least not
what I would have expected. The passenger side bad was totally intact, but
as someone said there was nothing that would have impacted that bad.
As far as injuries go, she does have a little rash (at least that is what I
would call it) on her arms from the bad, but the seatbelt really got her.
She has one of the nastiest looking bruises from the top of her shoulder to
her waist. This leads me to believe that the bad probably did not function
totally as it was intended to. I wouldn't have expected this type of
bruising if the bag had absorbed the impact as it was intended to. She also
has some damage in the ribcage area...nothing broken but soft tissue damage.
She also is having some neck problems.
I'm glad your daughter will be OK. Sorry about the car. I've never even seen
an airbag, but what you describe does not sound right. I hope I never do see
"Chris Warner" wrote ...
this sounds like there was a bad airbag. They don΄t have to split
anywhere, they just have some openings at the sides to let the gas out
in a controlled manner.
The problems with the neck could be a result of this bad airbag.
Re: your daughter's injuries, it sounds all safety devices worked. Large,
ugly, seat-belt sized bruises are normal after a good whollup. The air bags
are supplemental and will LESSON the neck snapping and deceleration.
Glad your daughter survived with just bruises and a stiff neck.
Seatbelts and airbags are not good enough to save many people involved in
car crashes. It's amazing how fragile our bodies really are when they are
subjected to sudden deceleration.
You didn't say but it sounds like your daughter was not seriously injured.
From this I conclude that her airbag worked as intended, no matter what her
recollection. I do not question her honesty, but memories of traumatic and
sudden events can be somewhat unreliable. As Gary said, airbags are supposed
to deflate rapidly to cushion the impact of the body, and I'm sure such
deflation would produce noise.
But by all means have the wreckage examined if you want to. It can't hurt.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.