Durham Personal Injury Lawyer – Living in the age of technology as we currently do, it isn’t hard to see how far technology has advanced. Today, it isn’t uncommon for everyone you know (as well as their parents and even their children) to have a smartphone. Although it’s easy to acknowledge the latest gadget to make our lives easier, we shouldn’t forget about those that make our lives safer.
Although airbags have been available for decades, researchers continue to make airbags with updated features to help save your life. If your airbags have deployed in a serious accident because a negligent driver hit you, ask a Durham Personal Injury Lawyer if you are entitled to compensation.
Originally introduced in the ’80s, airbags were developed to provide a cushion for drivers and passengers in collisions to prevent serious injuries. When a vehicle is moving and comes to a sudden stop, its occupants continue to move forward and often are injured by the resulting impact with the steering wheel. The airbag was designed to slow you down to a safe stop to prevent injury to occupants.
When a serious collision occurs, nitrogen gas releases into the airbag causing it to inflate outwards in a matter of a second. The airbag then deploys at speeds of up to 200 mph. The sensor that releases the nitrogen is designed to trigger when the impact is serious enough to cause injury – generally around 10 mph to 15 mph.
Permanent safety regulations were put in place requiring frontal airbags in the driver and passenger side for all vehicle models 1999 and newer. Side airbags and rollover airbags are not required by law but are common in many newer models as there are still safety regulations that car manufacturers must comply with and airbag installation is a good way to meet these regulations by reducing the risk of injury upon impact.
Airbags DO save lives and help reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 30,000 individuals' lives had been saved thanks to frontal airbags. Unfortunately, at least 60% of these individuals were not wearing seat belts.
While statistics show that seat belts reduce the risk of death in accidents by 50%, that percentage increases to 61% when airbags are installed. Your Durham Personal Injury Lawyer would advise you to always wear your seat belt as the combination of seat belts and airbags makes for the safest travel conditions.
Today, it’s the industry standard for many vehicle manufacturers to equip vehicles with several additional airbags aside from just the frontal airbags. Some of the additional airbags include knee airbags designed to protect the legs, side airbags designed to protect the head and neck as well as to protect the length of your body. New technology has even launched airbag designs for back seat passengers that deploy behind the headrest or in the seat belts.
An added benefit of having additional airbags in your vehicle is that your insurance rate will generally be lower. Although it depends on your company and the state you are living in, many companies provide discounts for safety features built into your vehicle.
Whenever you have been the victim of an accident, you should always seek medical treatment immediately, even if the airbags did deploy. Although the combination of airbags and seat belts may have helped save your life, serious injuries can still occur and it is likely that medical bills will start pouring in. Luckily, you don’t have to handle this process alone. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Durham at Wallace Pierce Law would be glad to review the details of your individual case to see how they can help. For free consultations, call our office at (919) 887-7892 today.