Almost all the modern cars are now offered with airbags in India. Even though they are not standard, the manufacturers now offer airbags as optional with almost all the affordable cars available on the market and many customers choose the airbag variants over the regular ones citing safety reasons. If you own a car with airbags, there are certain things that you should be careful about. Here are seven such things that you should not do with a car with airbags.
The sensors that detect a collision and deploy the airbags are placed at the front of the vehicle. Upon impact, the sensors deploy the airbags that save the occupants from injuries. Installing a bullbar at the front of a vehicle interferes with the crash impact on the sensors. In some cases, the airbags do not deploy at all due to the bullbar, while in others, there can be a delay in the deployment of the airbags and that can be extremely dangerous for the occupants.
Putting feet on the dashboard
Many co-drivers use the dashboard as a support for their feet. If the vehicle has a co-driver airbag, it can be extremely dangerous. The airbags deploy with a small explosion that inflates the airbag almost instantly. The explosion can break your legs and can damage them permanently. There have been a few such cases where the co-driver lost the legs after the airbag deployment. Even if the vehicle does not offer a co-driver airbag, putting the feet on the dashboard is not an ideal position to sit and can cause injuries in case of an accident.
Sit too close to the steering
The driver-side airbag is always installed in the steering wheel. Many drivers have the habit of sitting too close to the steering wheel. In case of an accident, the explosion from the airbag deployment can injure the face of the driver. Also, sitting too close to the steering wheel does not give enough time for the airbag to inflate completely and provide enough cushion to save the driver from the impact. It is always recommended to sit at a distance from the steering wheel. You can put your hand on the steering wheel and the wrist of your hand should rest on the steering wheel for the ideal distance.
Not wearing seatbelts
Not wearing seatbelts in a car with airbags can be dangerous. The airbags are always tested with the seatbelts and a few cars do not even activate the airbags if the seatbelt is not put to save the passengers from injuries. Seatbelts break the free fall of the occupants and give time to the airbags to deploy properly. Not wearing the seatbelt can cause injuries due to the airbag deployment during accidents.
Putting seat covers
Many modern affordable cars have started offering side airbags and one should take extreme care with the cars with such side airbags. In most cars, the side airbags are installed inside the seats and the seat covers are designed to tear apart easily when the airbags deploy. Putting seat covers on cars with side airbags intervenes with the airbag deployment and can also harm the occupants. One should never put seat covers on the cars with side airbags.
Putting dashboard ornaments
Putting dashboard ornaments on the cars with a co-driver airbag can be extremely harmful when it deploys. The airbag breaks the dashboard to deploy and it happens in a matter of microseconds. If there are any dashboard ornaments, like a photo frame, it can become a projectile and hit the occupants. It can very dangerous and one should refrain from putting any kind of ornament on the fascia of the cars that come with a co-driver airbag.
Putting child seat on the co-passenger seat without turning off airbag
Most modern cars come with ISOFIX hooks in the rear to safely tether the child seat. However, there are many cars that still do not offer the ISOFIX hooks but offer airbags. Many parents put the child seat in front and do not turn off the passenger airbag and it is extremely dangerous. Why? The airbags open with extreme force and can push the child backwards and cause injuries. Children do not need airbags as their heads would not hit the dashboard anyway.