Posted by: jdavis | May 20, 2008

AIRBAG FOR YOUR SAFETY

With the increasing number of cars navigating the road everyday, mishaps has almost become inevitable. Cars have been wrecked, properties have been destroyed and lives have been lost because of these. It is true without a doubt that material possessions can be replaced but people’s lives are a different story. A lot of accidents could have been prevented if only people care more. Over speeding, drunk drivers, malfunctioning brakes or engines-these are some of the causes of accidents and if you take a look at it closely- it can be sum up to only one phrase- lack of responsibility. How many times do we see signs on the road informing us of the car’s ideal speed? How many times do we hear people saying, do not drink and drive? And how many times have we been reminded to conduct a regular check-up to our vehicles to ensure that all its parts are functioning well? A lot maybe, but hard-headedness makes us ignore these things. The end product then is disaster. Since people seem not to learn, safety in cars has been intensified.

 

Safety is one of the most considered aspects in the creation of automobiles. Car manufacturers have spent a lot of time studying and coming up with new features that will not only greatly enhance the car’s performance but enhance the safety of the car’s occupants as well. More than the efficiency of the engine or the gas mileage, enhancement has also been anchored on the safety features of the vehicle. A notable feature among cars which is proven to save people from suffering multiple injuries which may lead to the loss of life is the Airbag.

 

Airbag is a kind of safety control like the seatbelt.  It is a pad filled with gas mounted at the parts of the vehicle where occupants are prone to hit during collisions such as the steering wheel, the door, roof and dashboards. There are two types of airbags, the frontal and side-impact airbags. Frontal airbags automatically controls the power level of the fontal and passenger frontal airbag. It has a sensor that determines it based on factors such as occupant’s size, seating position, seat belt used and the seriousness of the crash. Side-impact airbags on the other hand are aimed to protect the head and the chest in an occasion of severe crash which involves the side of the vehicle.

 

To understand better how an airbag works it is helpful to have another look at the laws of motion. The law states that a moving object has momentum and it will continue moving at its current speed and direction unless an outside force acts on it. What the airbag does is to slow down the passenger’s speed to zero in a split second without incurring damages or injuries if possible. If it is inevitable, then the airbag is meant to support the occupant so as to suffer from minimal injury only. The airbag has three parts, the bag, sensor, and inflation system. The bag is made up of a thin, nylon fabric that is folded in the steering wheel, dashboard, roof or door. The sensor is an apparatus that directs the bag when to blow up. Nitrogen gas makes up the inflation system.

 

While it is true that airbag is another important factor in ensuring the safety of the car’s occupants, seatbelts must not be disregarded. Study shows that airbags become more effective when used concurrently with a seatbelt. In spite of the positive effects of the airbag, it is still necessary to note that it has its drawbacks as well. A malfunctioning airbag can cause injury or can even kill people especially the smaller ones. Extra caution must therefore be observed to make sure that airbags will indeed save lives and not take it.

 

Below are some safety precautions I have excerpted from the Internet on what is the appropriate sitting position when the car is equipped with an airbag.

 

·   Move your seat to the rear as far as possible while still reaching the pedals comfortably.

·   Slightly recline the back of your seat. Although car designs vary, most drivers can achieve the 10-inch distance even with the driver seat all the way forward by slightly reclining the back of the seat. If reclining the seat makes it hard to see the road, you can raise yourself up by using your car’s seat-raising system (not all cars have this!) or a firm, non-slippery cushion to achieve the same effect.

·   Point the airbag toward your chest, instead of your head and neck, by tilting your steering wheel downward (this only works if your steering wheel is adjustable).

The rules are different for children. An airbag can seriously injure or even kill an unbuckled child who is sitting too close to it or is thrown toward the dash during emergency braking. Experts agree that the following safety points are important:

·   Children 12 and under should ride buckled up in a properly installed, age-appropriate car seat in the rear seat.

·   Infants in rear-facing child seats (under one year old and weighing less than 20 pounds / 10 kg) should never ride in the front seat of a car that has a passenger-side airbag.

·   If a child over one year old must ride in the front seat with a passenger-side airbag, he or she should be in a front-facing child safety seat, a booster seat or a properly fitting lap/shoulder belt, and the seat should be moved as far back as possible.

 

http://www.howstuffworks.com/airbag.htm

http://inventors.about.com/od/astartinventions/a/air_bags.htm

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