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How Fast Does an Airbag Deploy?

Airbags are designed to inflate extremely rapidly to protect the occupants of a vehicle in the event of a collision. The typical deployment time of an airbag is around 30 to 50 milliseconds. This speed is critical, given that a typical car crash lasts about 120 milliseconds. For comparison, a blink of an eye takes about 300 to 400 milliseconds.

How Much Force to Deploy Airbag?

Airbags are triggered not by the force of an impact, but by the change in velocity (speed and direction) the vehicle experiences. Modern vehicles are equipped with sensors that detect sudden deceleration, typically indicative of a collision. If the rate of deceleration is equivalent to hitting a solid, immovable object at 8 to 14 mph or more, the airbags will likely deploy.

What Speed Do Airbags Deploy At?

As stated above, the deployment of airbags is not strictly based on the speed at which the vehicle is traveling. Rather, it is based on the sudden change in velocity experienced during a collision. However, in general terms, airbags usually deploy in a frontal crash situation if the vehicle is going above 8 to 14 mph, and the impact is equivalent to hitting a solid, immovable object.

Can You Drive a Car Once the Airbags Have Deployed?

Driving a car with deployed airbags is not recommended and can even be illegal in some regions. Airbag deployment generally indicates a severe accident has occurred, which could have caused other unseen damage to the vehicle. Additionally, deployed airbags may interfere with visibility and vehicle control. It is crucial to have your vehicle inspected and repaired by a professional before attempting to drive it again.

Is a Car Totaled If Airbags Deploy?

When airbags deploy, it often means significant damage has occurred to the vehicle. However, it does not automatically mean the car is considered a "total loss" or "totaled". The car is only deemed a total loss if the cost of repairs exceeds the car's value pre-accident. Insurance companies make this determination, which can depend on many factors, including the age and condition of the vehicle.

Can a Car Be Repaired If the Airbags Are Deployed?

Yes, a car can be repaired after airbags have deployed, but the process is often costly. The airbags themselves need to be replaced, and the airbag control module must be replaced or reprogrammed. Depending on the vehicle, this can cost from several hundred to a few thousand dollars. However, the extent and cost of the repair ultimately depend on the overall damage to the vehicle from the accident.

What is the Average Settlement for Airbags Not Deploying?

The settlement for airbags not deploying varies greatly case by case. Factors such as the severity of the injury, the extent of the other party's liability, and whether a defect in the airbag system was present all influence the amount. However, it's not uncommon for such cases to result in settlements or verdicts of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, particularly if the failure to deploy resulted in serious injury or death. As always, one should consult with a qualified legal professional to understand their specific situation better.

Disclaimer: this article was generated using an LLM