Seat Belts, Airbags, and Facial Injuries
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney. Since the dawn of the automobile, numerous changes have been made to improve the safety of these vehicles that have made it easy to move from place to place quickly. Seat belts play an important role in keeping people safe in cars. They restrain drivers and passengers, preventing them from being ejected in the event of an auto accident or from colliding with the interior of a motor vehicle, which might result in traumatic injuries. Airbags have helped prevent catastrophic personal injuries as well. They cushion collisions that occur between the occupants and the steering wheel or dashboards. Furthermore, there are side curtain airbags and even knee airbags that have reduced injuries as well. However, these safety devices can also cause injuries. Some of these include:
- Abdominal Trauma: When seat belts were first introduced, they were merely the lap belts that we still see on buses. While these helped prevent wrongful deaths from occurring, people who were involved in serious accidents often ended up with abdominal trauma. This resulted from people’s chests and heads being flung forward with the lower half of their body restrained by a seat belt. When this happens, the stretch between the top half and lower half of their body can cause tearing of their stomach and small bowel which is a medical emergency.
- Burn Injuries: Airbags can cause injuries as well. It is important for these bags to inflate as quickly as possible so that they can break the impact between the driver and the steering wheel. Sometimes, the chemicals causing this inflation can be released into the air. When this happens, this can cause not only lung irritation but possibly burn injuries.
Given the disconnect between the benefits and potential harm of these devices, how effective are they?
A Review: Efficacy of Safety Devices
Since the inception of these devices, many different studies have been performed to look at the safety effects. Over the years, different results have been found. Some of the studies were performed using now obsolete versions of these devices while other studies were performed on more recent versions, meaning that the latter results hold more weight. A group of research professionals compiled data and looked at the results as a whole. They found vehicles that had both of these devices in use performed an exceptional job at preventing injuries to the face, skull, and brain. The combined value of restraint with a cushion clearly plays an important role in the prevention of injuries to this vital part of the body.
New Safety Devices Can Prevent Injuries
As motor vehicle companies continue to place a larger emphasis on the safety of passengers in vehicles, newer safety devices have been released which have the potential to reduce injuries even further. Now, some vehicles have backup cameras that allow drivers to see what is going on behind them. This can even help people park their vehicle since they can see the lines of the spot behind their car. Some cars even have lane departure assist devices. When a car is operating at highway speeds, it will sense when the driver begins to drift from their lane, alerting the driver so that the car can be shifted back into alignment. Finally, many cars today have blind spot monitoring devices. These are key because they can alert the driver to the presence of an object in the mirrors’ blind spots. This can help prevent an accident from occurring.
Watch YouTube Video: Crash Test with and without Safety Belt or Air Bag. This short video provides a side-by-side look at a crash test using a dummy with and without a seatbelt or an airbag.
Sacramento Auto Accident Attorneys
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Auto Accident Attorneys. Airbags and seat belts provide many safety benefits but they can also cause injuries if manufactured inappropriately. If you or a loved one has suffered an airbag or seatbelt injury in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You’re welcome to read about some of our verdicts and settlements cases.
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