Airbags do not open, they explode! Over the years, manufacturers have made advancements to create safer cars and airbags have become an integral part of the safety of any present-day automobile. Airbags need to be deployed in microseconds after the first impact of the car and delay in the deployment can cause serious injury to the passengers. This is why everyone travelling inside a car equipped with airbags should be extra careful. The reason for that is in the video below.
The video shows an airbag module from a Skoda car. A mannequin is used to show the power of the explosion of an airbag. In the video, the airbag module is kept on a tin can and a mannequin is made to sit on top of it. After they trigger the airbag remotely, it explodes, sending the mannequin flying high in the air. The lifeless mannequin flew several feet above the ground in the video. If the airbag had been placed on the ground, the mannequin would have flown higher. The soft can on which the airbag was placed absorbed some of the energy.
If you’re wondering if all airbags blow like this then the answer is yes. Airbags are designed to fill up rapidly when an accident happens. It only takes a microsecond to fill up completely to provide cushioning to the occupants and save them from critical injuries. Even the side airbags work like this but it should be noted that smaller airbags like knee and the side airbags have low-intensity explosions compared to the front airbags, which are much bigger in size.
Why do airbags explode?
Airbag systems use a chemical reaction to quickly fill up the airbag during an accident. As soon as the sensor in the car detects an impact, the airbag module calculates and triggers the airbag to save the occupants. If the airbag does not blows up completely in time or there is a delay in the explosion, the occupants may get severe injuries. If the airbag fills up completely much before the occupant reaches it, it does not provide an optimum cushioning. The explosion happens to create harmless gases like nitrogen that is used to rapidly fill the airbags.
Don’t be casual around airbags
There have been many incidents in the past where people have been injured due to the airbag explosion. It is always recommended to set the driver seat in a way that it is not too close to the steering wheel as the airbag explosion can happen near to your face during an accident. This is also the reason why manufacturers and safety officials ask you not to keep your feet on the dashboard. A few years ago, a woman lost her legs after the co-driver airbag deployed while her feet were on the dashboard.