Air bags have a tendency to be rather controversial because although they do save lives, they also may take them.
In conversations with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer about air bags, it came to light that even though the bags have saved a great many lives, air bag failures have severely injured or killed people. Defective air bags are a concern in the auto industry as a whole, but more so to the legal community who have seen firsthand how lethal these devices may be to drivers.
Many people think that air bags only deploy in a high speed crash. The facts are that they also deploy as a result of low speed collisions. Unfortunately, in cases like that, the driver may be killed by the air bag when they may have survived the actual crash if it hadn’t been for the bag. Conversely, there have been cases where the air bag didn’t deploy.
In checking with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for accident statistics involving air bag fatalities, it was discovered that in a five year span from 2001 to 2006 that approximately 1,400 people died in head on collisions where the air bag didn’t deploy. If deaths due to failed air bags from side impact crashes were included, along with left and right fender impacts and rollovers or ejections, the death toll would reach over 4,000. What concerns Las Vegas personal injury lawyers is that the death toll in collisions where air bags never came out has risen by about 50 percent and the numbers are still on the rise. The ramifications for auto manufacturers concerning product liability are enormous.
Never underestimate the power of an air bag that explodes into a vehicle at speeds of up to 200 mph. Some manufacturers offer a “one size fits all” kind of air bag that aggressively pummels small children and small stature adults. These bags may cause various traumas that include face burns and bruising, head, neck and spinal trauma, decapitation, traumatic brain injury, blindness and permanent disfigurement. Thankfully newer air bags that deploy in stages may reduce these types of injuries and deaths.
Manufacturers also need to do something about crash sensors that trigger the bag in collisions where a vehicle is only going up to 15 mph. Add to this list of defects the fact that crash sensors have been known to delay the trigger signal, which means the air bag inflates too late after the crash or for no reason at all. In a nutshell, air bags that don’t work the way they’re supposed to work are highly dangerous, causing needless injuries and deaths.
A highly skilled Las Vegas personal injury lawyer is able to assist Nevada clients on the road to justice if they have been a victim of a defective air bag.
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