Q: How do airbags work?

asked by on December 15, 2015

How do airbags work?

Airbags play a big role in keeping vehicle occupants safe in the event of a crash. They way in which they work is simple, yet the process has been fine-tuned over the years to offer as much protection as possible. Here’s how they work:

  1. When the vehicle senses a sufficient impact to the front or sides of a vehicle, a pressurized inflator fills the bag with gas in the blink of an eye. Some vehicles are equipped with dual-stage airbags. These can deploy in 2 different ways depending on the severity of the crash.

  2. The airbag pushes the interior panels blocking it aside. For the driver, the airbag pops out of the steering wheel. The panels are designed to not obstruct the airbags when deploying.

  3. The airbag inflates to its full size and provides a inflated bag for the occupant to impact in a crash. This is a huge improvement over simply hitting the steering wheel or dashboard in a crash. The airbag spreads out the force of the impact.

Tip

Do not rely on the airbags alone to protect you in a crash. They are designed around the fact that the occupant will be strapped into their seat when the airbag deploys.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

How long can Chevrolet Equinox 2008 transmission last? What's max.year of durability& what could be the issue of it's breakage?

There is no set life span for the transmission. I have seen many go beyond 200,000 miles and not have an issue and others breakdown after the first week of ownership. The key is to follow the service manual for...

My car's center console has no power

Hello. If your center console and radio unit is no longer working after the battery is disconnected then it may be possible that a fuse has blown. I would check the vehicle's interior fuse box to see if any of...

What types of lockout protection are offered?

Locking up your car is vital for security, but what if you lock your keys in the car? We’ve all done it (or come very close). Thankfully, your car offers some important forms of lockout protection to help ensure you...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford F-350
With With Ford’s stiffest chassis to date, the 2012 F-350 is one of the most reliable heavy-duty pickup trucks on the market today. With the quiet cabin and plush ride, though, you’ll feel like you’re driving in the comfort of...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster
The The Mini Cooper Roadster was made in conjunction with the Mini Coupe, but went on sale four months prior to the Coupe. It is the sixth Mini version since 2001 when BMW revived the brand. The Roadster is a...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If Safety is #1
Maybe Maybe you’re a parent buying the first car for your teenager, or perhaps you’re a new parent and the safety of your little one is of the utmost importance. Or perhaps you're a safety-minded individual looking to make a...