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

was running in idle. went to reverse and it died. i turned it back on and it seemed to shake.

Hello. If the vehicle is turning off and idling rough then there is a problem with the powertrain. It can be an issue with the throttle body or possibly an issue with one of the engine sensors. I usually check...

How do I turn off the cruise control?

To turn off the cruise control, simply press the On-Off button at the end of the cruise control lever. Any cruise control lights that are illuminated on the instrument panel should turn off to confirm that the system is off....

How do I use the horn?

While the horn might not be the most sophisticated piece of equipment on your car, it does provide you with some safety. It can be used to warn other drivers while on the road, as well as for calling attention...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Suzuki SX4
The The 2012 Suzuki SX4 delivers all-wheel drive in a compact hatch, and provides plenty of space and features considering its ultra-low price tag. While there are plenty of updated options available in this vehicle class, the SX4 Crossover model...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford Escape
CUVs CUVs (Crossover utility vehicles) are becoming more and more popular these days, as consumers are interested in saving money and buying more eco-friendly vehicles but they still have a lot of people and cargo to move around. CUVs like...
A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Lexus GS
A A decade after it debuted, the 2012 Lexus GS still hasn’t found a strong foothold in the sport-sedan market. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a closer look. It’s much more affordable than competitors like the BMW 3...