Seat belts and airbags help save the lives of thousands of people who meet with accidents. They do so by minimizing the force that acts against the passengers involved in a collision.
Both driver and passenger tend to keep moving with the speed of car in the direction of motion of the car. On collision, the car is brought to a sudden halt. But the passengers tend to move with the speed of car. Airbags now play an important role in producing a force that opposes this motion of the passenger bringing them to a halt without major injuries. But on important condition – one must be wearing seat belts for the airbags to help them survive major accidents. This is because on collision, airbags pop up with such a high speed that a passenger not wearing seat belt would hit the airbag (again at a good speed). This would cause major head injuries unlike those cases where passengers held tight with seat belts.
There are three important parts to an airbag – a nylon bag, sensor and inflation system. Airbags are made of nylon and is folded into the dashboard and steering wheel. In some of the latest vehicles, airbags are folded into the seat or doors.
The sensor is an important device which tells the airbag when to inflate. There are two kinds of sensors – electrical and mechanical. Electrical systems use a battery as source of power. Mechanical sensors do not rely on power source. There are many impact sensors which indicate when the air bag should get deployed. It happens when vehicle was travelling at the speed of more than 25 km/hr and collision occurs (or) a sudden deceleration force experienced when car moving at a speed of 25km/hr collides with immobile barrier. The angle of impact is also important. If all these conditions are met, the airbags will deploy. Airbags on the front are designed for the protection of adults. Hence children should not occupy front seats as they may get injured on the deployment of airbags.