Today’s vehicles are safer than ever before. Design and construction techniques provide tremendous protection in an accident. Your airbags are part of a sophisticated system of sensors and computers called the Supplemental Restraint System or SRS.
These SRS sensors can be found throughout the vehicle and detect things like where passengers sit and how much they weigh, as well as the speed and direction of an impact during a crash. The sensor information is fed into the SRS computer to determine if and when an airbag should be deployed.
An airbag must be inflated very quickly to protect occupants. The inflation is basically the result of a controlled explosion, which is another violent event and is the reason the airbag is only deployed in a life-threatening scenario. Deploying an airbag in the wrong circumstance could do more harm than good. Hard direct-side, front impacts, and rollovers are more likely to trigger airbags.
There are a few things to keep in mind about airbags. First, if the SRS dash light stays on, you need to have this malfunctioning system checked. Also, after the driver’s-side steering wheel airbag is deployed, the steering wheel clock spring must be replaced as the clock spring may be damaged.
When an airbag deploys, some or all the sensors mentioned may be pre-triggered to go off. Simply hitting a pothole could set off an airbag. Therefore, always have all SRS sensors replaced when replacing a deployed airbag and only new airbags should be installed. No one can guarantee the condition of a salvaged airbag.
Only a qualified facility should work on your SRS system, and always remember that small children and child-safety-seats are safer in rear seats.