I had a 1997 for about three months when someone pulled directly in front of
me. The center of my front end hit her on the drivers front corner. My
Buick was totaled her car was drivable. She came to stop in my lane. I did
hit the breaks but could not avoid hitting her. She was ticketed.
I had two children, my wife and my daughter in the car. Both front air bags
were deployed. My daughter was in front with me. She had some minor stomach
pains. I had burns on both arms from the air bag. They hurt for three days
and still can be seen on my arms after a month.
Everyone had to get out of the car as the dust from the air bags was
gagging. We all had sore throats for two days.
I hope the newer air bags do not have the after effect of the dust.
I agree air bags are a great safety feature. I know that first hand as I am
retired firefighting rescue squad, and Ambulance. But I never experience the
dust they produce. I wonder how someone with asthma could fare. They could
be not injured because of the air bag and stop breathing because of the
dust. Unless you have experienced it first hand you have no idea what it is
like. We had to exit the vehicle. Had someone done this with a spinal injury
they could cause permeate damage.
I just hope they have air bags without the dust.
wrote in message
No problem for most asthma sufferers.(I am one) The only real side
effect from the dust is trying to get it ALL back off. It is nothing
more than talcum powder or corn starch (depending on year and maker).
The friction burns on your arms will take a while to heal.
I've been through a few bag deploys and they were all VERY dusty. Never
had a problem with breathing caused by the dust. Did have a very sore
shoulder for a while from the belt holding me in place.
The burns on your arms are not friction burns. In order to get the airbag
to inflate fast enough, car makers use a small amount of explosive called
sodium azide (if I recall correctly). When the bag inflates, the air inside
is very hot and there are vent holes on either side of the bag that allows
it to deflate as you hit it with your face, cushioning the impact. It's
usually the exhaust from these vent holes that cause the minor burns on your
arms. If the bag was airtight and rigidly inflated without these vent holes
it would be like hitting a brick wall.
The powder residue is either talcum powder or corn starch mixed with the
residue of the sodium azide after it's been burned, which is where the acrid
smell comes from.
I've been in fire/rescue for over 20 years and have smelled that odor many
times in the aftermath of auto accidents, but it is by far the lesser of two
evils in a great number of crashes. And while it may be very irritating to
those with breathing issues like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, etc.
(as well as to those of us without), aside from some coughing and irritation
I've never had to treat anyone for a respiratory issue related to exposure
to these chemicals. Usually just a few breaths of fresh air was all it took
to relieve any symptoms.
Cheers - Jonathan
I had the same happen to me in a '92 Honda Accord. Both arms were slightly
burned, sore for a day or so. I also had to replace my contact lenses
because they had spots on them. The bag also broke my watch clean off my
But hey, it was a head on collision at 60km/h between two Honda Accords and
everyone walked away.
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