Air Bags

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Research Investigation
Safety features in cars

Air Bags

Air bags are safety features installed in cars so that upon collision the driver limits the damage that is inflicted on him/her.

There are several different types of air bags. These include, Supplementary Restraint System (SRS), an Air Cushion Restraint System (ACRS) and the Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR).

Air bags are commonly known for their rapid inflation upon a collision. They can inflate and deflate within 0.05 seconds, a mere fraction of a second. Inside the air bags are things called gas generators. An accelerometer triggers the ignition of the hot gas inside the nylon bag, causing it to inflate. The inflation of the bag decreases the chance of the driver injuring him or her by acting as a cushioning device. The air bag itself has little air vents in it so when the passenger or driver pushes against it air is slowly let out of it. Making it softer to reduce pain upon impact.

Air bags compliment the seat belts, as they both work in ways to stop the occupant’s head and upper body parts from hitting the cars interior. They distribute the crash force on the body evenly and reduce the risk of serious injury.

Under the right circumstances, air bags can save lives, but can they kill or seriously injure too?

Some injuries from air bags can occur, such as skin abrasion, hearing damage (from the sound of inflation), eye damage, especially for people wearing glasses, breaking of the noise, fingers, hands or arms even. The hot gas inside the gas generator can sometimes inflict burns on the occupants; most commonly these burns occur to the face, arms and chest region. They are usually second-degree burns or ‘deep dermal’ burns which take longer to heal and risk the chance of scarring.

Seat belt usage has climbed in the 1990’s so air bag manufacturers can alter their designs accordingly. All air bags today can recognise if a seat belt I being worn or not, so the trigger time can...
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