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Old 6th September 2007, 10:47   #1
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Exclamation 2nd Degree burns from airbag deployment!!!

hi guys,
though this incident happened last month,i thought i would share it with you.
A friend of mine who was driving a honda civic was coming back from a party and was hopelessly drunk(we know where this is going,right???).he miscalculated a turn and rammed head on into an electricity pole.the airbag deployed and burst causing 2nd degree burns on his hands as they were still on the steering wheel.
he didnt suffer any other injuries.his father wrote a letter to honda to find the reason for the accident and for compensation.honda replied stating that it wasnt their responsibility.
its been one month now,he has sold the civic and bought a new crv.but what still troubles him is that what if it happens again.
1.Why did the airbag burst???
2.2nd degree burns???
3.are airbags safe???
4.Is honda responsible??

p.s.mods,if this isnt the right section for posting this thread,please move it to the correct section.thank you.
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Old 6th September 2007, 10:54   #2
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Quote:
1.Why did the airbag burst???
Because that is what it was made to do in the first place!

Quote:
2.2nd degree burns???
An airbag uses an explosive charge in order to inflate the bag in milliseconds. Slight burns happen on rare occasions.

Quote:
3.are airbags safe???
Safer than smashing your face into the wheel or windscreen.

Quote:
4.Is honda responsible??
For preventing further injuries? yes. For the slight burns, no. Your friend driving drunk was responsible for that.

I don't get this. Here is a person driving drunk, rams into a pole, the airbag deploys to probably save him from smashing his face on the windscreen/wheel or maybe even saves his life, and they want to know why the airbag deployed and actually want compensation from honda?

Forget compensation, he's not even going to get any insurance as he was drunk.

And we wonder why companies think twice about giving us airbags as standard or even an option.
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Old 6th September 2007, 10:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellspawn View Post
the airbag deployed and burst causing 2nd degree burns on his hands as they were still on the steering wheel.
in some other thread did I hear everyone scream for Honda not giving airbags!! and now this!!!

hi everybody out there,... someone please help me find my safe but 'sound' 118NE back
(gbpscars pays loyalty to gopz for using his project idea)


EDIT: I just saw Rtech's post,.. what do you mean by they are made to burst? Atleast not that catastrophically!! yeah?

Last edited by gbpscars : 6th September 2007 at 10:59.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:03   #4
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Hellspawn,

Quite frankly your friend got off easy.

2nd degree burns is a small price to pay for doing something as stupid as driving when hopelessly drunk.
He could have caused much more damage, not only to himself, but to others on the streets.

Maybe next weekend he should have a smoke at a petrol pump and then try to claim compensation from BP for 1st degree burns.

cya
R
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:03   #5
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First of all, dont drink and drive, tell this to your friend also, for everyones safety.

The deployment of airbags has lot to do with the mechanism it uses to protect and heat plays a major role therefore its possible to get burns, this is how it works :

Sensor system

When the vehicle’s collision force reaches a certain level, caused by crashing at speeds of at least 15 to 30 kms per hour, the crash sensors activate the air bag’s inflation system. An accelerometer, built into a microchip, provides deceleration data to the sensor. A mass shift closes an electrical contact, which in turn flips a mechanical switch. A diagnostic module receives the electrical signal and, after testing to ensure there is a crash, allows the signal to trigger the inflation of the air bag. The diagnostic module also operates at other times, monitoring the air bag system’s readiness. When the driver turns on the vehicle’s ignition, for instance, the diagnostic module is activated and, if it detects a problem, it turns on a warning light to alert the driver.

Inflation system

In some inflation systems, sodium azide and potassium nitrate react to create nitrogen gas. Other systems create argon gas. The bag is then inflated with hot blasts of the gas. The system works somewhat like a solid rocket booster, as a solid propellant is ignited and its burning creates a large volume of gas very quickly. This process causes the air bag to burst out of its storage location at a speed between 160 and 350 kms per hour.

Most inflation systems are designed to deploy in a vehicle fire if the temperature rises to 150 to 205 C. This is a safety feature, as such high temperatures could otherwise cause the inflation system to explode within the air bag system. New systems are being developed to specify certain levels of inflation. Multi-stage inflators could deploy less forcefully in moderate collisions than in severe crashes. Also, occupant-sensing devices could tailor the deployment to a child or adult and his/her position.

Nylon bag

Air bags require engineered materials that can withstand high mechanical stresses and temperatures. During deployment, the internal pressure within the bag can rise as high as 100 kPa, while the temperature can reach 2,760 C. Some inflators also expel hot particulates that increase thermal loading to the system and could potentially cause burn-through.

Air bag nylon fibers are designed with energy absorption and thermal resistance properties to keep both pressure and heat within the bag. Nylon is also used for the casing for the air bag. When a driver-side air bag is fully inflated, it has approximately the diameter of a large ball. A passenger-side air bag, however, can inflate to twice or three times that size, since it needs to cover a greater distance (i.e. from the dashboard to the passenger).

Air bag manufacturers use either talcum powder or regular cornstarch to keep the bags lubricated and pliable during storage and deployment. This is why a powdery substance is released into the car’s interior upon air bag inflation. Small amounts of sodium hydroxide may be present, turning into sodium bicarbonate upon exposure to air. Potassium chloride is sometimes also present. Immediately after inflation, tiny ventilation holes in the bag allow the gas to dissipate rapidly. The bag deflates, allowing the driver or passenger to move once more.

The entire process of air bag inflation, driver or passenger contact and air bag deflation takes place in less than half a second

Also look at this site

Last edited by dadu : 6th September 2007 at 11:06.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:13   #6
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Lets keep the drunk driver story apart and focus on the burns from the Airbag deployment.

Airbags are supposed to save us from injuries and not cause them. Is this normal or due to defective components? When airbags become complusory fitments in india shortly, will it cause more damage to passengers than save them.

In this case, it saved the driver, but caused burns. I dont think we should say that the burns are justified since the driver was drunk. What would have you said if the driver wasnt drunk?

Airbags are far as I know are only meant to inflate and not burst. May be the person would have tried to tear open the bag to get out in the drowsy state.

Last edited by mail4ajo : 6th September 2007 at 11:17.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellspawn View Post
his father wrote a letter to Honda to find the reason for the accident and for compensation. Honda replied stating that it wasn't their responsibility.
Obviously.. To find the reason for the accident, his father would have got a better response if he had written to the bartender and asked him how many pegs his son has downed before getting into the car.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:20   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
Lets keep the drunk driver story apart and focus on the burns from the Airbag deployment.

Airbags are supposed to save us from injuries and not cause them. Is this normal or due to defective components? When airbags become complusory fitments in india shortly, will it cause more damage to passengers than save them.

In this case, it saved the driver, but caused burns. I dont think we should say that the burns are justified since the driver was drunk. What would have you said if the driver wasnt drunk?

That's good mail4ajo,... those with airbags in your vehicles, let us know if you are really aware of this?

The deployment process is easily understood by reading over the net, but should a driver / passenger who is not drunk get burn injuries due to such an expensive safety device at work?

As much as chances exist of the airbag having saved one from a crash, there are also chances of the person having escaped with only slight bruises to oneself instead of taking a 2nd degree burn injury due to a airbag deployment!!!


please note: hellspawn says "the airbag deployed and burst" .
@RTech: An airbag bursting is not its primary task.

Last edited by gbpscars : 6th September 2007 at 11:25.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:25   #9
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a couple of questions..

1. Speed
2. Seatbelts

High speed, the air bag saved his life.
No seat belt, he took the entire impact of the airbag.

The car has multiple systems to protect you.
You need to use them all.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
Airbags are supposed to save us from injuries and not cause them. Is this normal or due to defective components? When airbags become complusory fitments in india shortly, will it cause more damage to passengers than save them.
This is exactly why we need to read the user manual and this is where a knowledge of how the system works will help.

@ mail4ajo: Please take no offence pal, this message is not directed towards you but towards everyone including my close friends who do not realise that the airbag can indeed cause serious injuries if simple instructions like not keeping items on top of the dash etc., are not followed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
In this case, it saved the driver, but caused burns. I dont think we should say that the burns are justified since the driver was drunk. What would have you said if the driver wasnt drunk?
Keeping aside the the driver being drunk part... would you rather have a burn or have a fatal injury? an air bag like many life support systems, is designed with the primary goal of protecting a life, unlike other components where comfort also plays a major role.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
Airbags are far as I know are only meant to inflate and not burst.
It actually does. Please read dadu's post earlier.

Last edited by quicksilver : 6th September 2007 at 11:33.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:45   #11
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Quote:
Airbags are supposed to save us from injuries and not cause them. Is this normal or due to defective components? When airbags become complusory fitments in india shortly, will it cause more damage to passengers than save them.
This has been an age old debate in the West at the time airbags started gaining popularity. There are still people who hate airbags. Yes, an airbag could cause a certain amount of injury on rare occasions. However, you have to look at the bigger picture and see what an airbag prevents.

There were similar questions raised by a few on wearing of seatbelts a long time ago. Many said it bruised them or something similar.

The fact is, in order for an airbag to deploy in a blink of an eye, it needs to be inflated in a hurry by the process mentioned above.

Quote:
As much as chances exist of the airbag having saved one from a crash, there are also chances of the person having escaped with only slight bruises to oneself instead of taking a 2nd degree burn injury due to a airbag deployment!!!
We have another thread where some Skoda owners in Ludhiana (?) went on a dharna because the airbag did not deploy! So who do the manufacturers please?

Quote:
@RTech: An airbag bursting is not its primary task.
I don't think he meant that literally. An airbag deploys and deflates in a matter of milliseconds.

Also, I think I can say, unfortunately, that I have a bit more experience here than most. I was involved in an accident where the drivers and passenger airbags deployed. My hands were on the steering wheel at that time. The next day i noticed a slight bruise on both wrists. Neither I nor the passenger actually touched the airbags at that moment of the accident. There was also a huge cost to replace the bags and the associated mechanisms after that. Infact a few people even told me not to bother replacing the airbags!

At the moment the airbags deploy, you hear a loud BAANG, like a gun going off. Then the interior of the car is full of a fine powder dust (that is applied on the bag to prevent it from sticking). By the time you realise what happened, the airbags are already deflated. Unlike movies where they show the airbag like a balloon!

Do I regret that the airbags deployed? No! This time they were not needed, but the next time they may be. Monetary things are replaceable.

Last edited by Rtech : 6th September 2007 at 11:47.
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Old 6th September 2007, 11:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech View Post
Also, I think I can say, unfortunately, that I have a bit more experience here than most. I was involved in an accident where the drivers and passenger airbags deployed. My hands were on the steering wheel at that time. The next day i noticed a slight bruise on both wrists. Neither I nor the passenger actually touched the airbags at that moment of the accident.
hmm,... first hand experience counts of course. good that you are safe.

thanks RTech, I will try to understand this better, even now after some browsing, i see this as a debatable topic across the net!!! ironical though.
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Old 6th September 2007, 12:00   #13
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Many studies have taken place, and most observed that airbags will do more good than harm in most of the cases. Its the small percentage where airbag can harm thats what grabs attention.
Think of it this way.

Lets say a certain highway has 100 fatalities in a month. A system is introduced which will cushion the people and save 100 lives.
But the system is such that 2% will have more injuries than before.
So now you have 2 people dead in a month due to this system.

So should this system be removed?

Coming back to airbags, in most cases it will save your life.
If you are not wearing a seatbelt, an airbag can kill you. Its a known fact.

Thats why they are known as SRS.

Burns on hands are a small price to pay.
Imagine, no airbags and a smashed head, or airbag and burnt hands, what do you choose?
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Old 6th September 2007, 12:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spadival View Post
Obviously.. To find the reason for the accident, his father would have got a better response if he had written to the bartender and asked him how many pegs his son has downed before getting into the car.
That a good one...

But my concern is, what if it happens in a genuine case of an accident. Air bags are for saftey and if they cause 2nd degree burns, that is a big problem.
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Old 6th September 2007, 12:19   #15
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On the topic of airbags.

1. They are SRS - SUPPLEMENTAL restraint system. 1st is seatbelts.
2. Burns and bruises on your wrists is better than a broken nose / jaw.
3. Remember how we were always instructed to keep our hands at the "10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions ? Nowadays, the rule is 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock, and airbag deployment is the reason.

cya
R

Last edited by GTO : 16th March 2015 at 13:06. Reason: In line with RP
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