I get this question multiple times a week and it shows that a lot of people do not understand the how and why of airbags.
First, airbags are extremely dangerous and can cause more injury than the car crash in certain circumstances. An air bag is designed to deploy in 1/20th of a second and can cause burns and cause injuries to the face when impacted. In most circumstances front air bags should only deploy in moderate to severe crashes. A moderate to severe crash is defined by Safecar.gov as hitting a solid fixed barrier at 8 to 14 miles per hour. This speed is misleading as it does not explain the force required to trigger front air bags.
I found this great video explaining how and when air bags deploy and it’s a marvel of modern technology as to how they work.
When the computer is determining which air bag and whether it should deploy it the computer takes into consideration the force of the crash, the specific vehicle and its ability to withstand the crash, and the location of the damage to the vehicle. Another thing to consider is to not sit too close to the steering wheel as this can cause serious injury! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH4dViWtzXw&feature=emb_logo
Second, air bags are extremely expensive and are typically around $1,000 to $1,500 to replace. An air bag deploying can be the difference between your car being declared a total loss or being repaired.
Let’s all be safe and appreciate that your air bag not deploying is probably a good thing!
If you have questions or have been involved in a car or a motorcycle crash I am always available. (321) 926-8002