Q: How do airbags work?

asked by on

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How do airbags work?

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

Q: Started running rough when ESC light came on

Thank you for writing in about this problem. The Electronic Stability Control system (ESC) could have been activated due to driving conditions (wet, dusty, etc.). However, the light should turn off when the conditions warrant (dry, no slip). Sometimes the...

Q: Q: What precautions should I take with the air bag system?

While the air bags in your car are designed to enhance safety during accidents, you do need to take a few precautions to ensure that you don’t damage the system, or increase your risk of injury. Here’s what you should...

Q: Q: I have water and fuel in my oil

This is due to a possible blown head gasket near the number 6 cylinder on the engine. You have aluminum heads and may have a crack in the head. I would recommend having the system checked by a certified technician...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.