Like seatbelts, airbags are designed to save your life and prevent serious injuries if you are in a car crash, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause some damage as a result of these measures. Airbags simply offer a better alternative to what would happen otherwise, such as hitting the dashboard or windows. Depending on the type of injuries you sustain, it is important to visit a specialist or a whiplash chiropractor to ensure your injuries are not worse than they may appear. If you were recently involved in a car accident where the airbags deployed, it is important to understand the most common injuries to be aware of in the aftermath.
The most common car accident injuries you will see after an airbag deploys are surface injuries- things like abrasions, contusions, and burns that are visible to the eye and primarily impact your skin. Abrasions and scrapes can be caused by the friction of the skin rubbing against another surface, like the fabric that airbags are made from, while contusions and bruises may result from the pressure of the airbag’s deployment. These injuries are most commonly seen in the upper body and can range from mild to severe, but are rarely serious injuries that require emergency care.
Burns can occur as a result of the friction of fabric against the skin, but you may also experience chemical burns after airbags deploy. The mechanism that causes airbags to inflate quickly requires a chemical reaction. Heat and gas will be initially trapped inside the airbag to cushion your body, and then slowly released through the vents in the side of the airbag. If you are gripping the steering wheel, it’s common for the hands and forearm to suffer burns from the side vents as they release gas. In rare cases, the hot gas can explode out of the airbag due to a defect, causing facial burns.
Airbags are designed to prevent your head from making contact with a hard surface like the dashboard. However, even when that occurs, you could still end up with a concussion, just one that is potentially less serious. If your head collides with the airbag itself or is thrown back against a chair or window, you may notice concussion symptoms. If you experience a loss of consciousness, severe and lasting headaches, dizziness, balance issues, nausea, light sensitivity, or trouble concentrating and remembering, you should visit a whiplash chiropractor to ensure no other serious head injuries have occurred.
As one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accidents, whiplash is something you are likely looking out for. While airbags can prevent whiplash in some cases, in others it may simply mean you have a less severe case of the condition. Whiplash is caused when the body jolts back and forth quickly, straining the soft tissues, causing stiffness and pain in the neck and shoulders. This can occur whether you hit an airbag or not, if there is room for your head to move quickly enough. While whiplash can be painful, it can also be treated easily by a whiplash chiropractor in most cases.
If your body makes contact with the quick and high pressured airbag, it can cause internal damage and bruising. Even if you see no bruises externally, there may be internal bruising as well. Injuries to the rib and pelvis are possible, as well as damage to the organs, abdomen, or bowels. These can be not only painful, but can lead to life-threatening injuries like internal bleeding if they are not treated properly.
Preventing Airbag Injuries
Just like wearing a seatbelt is a preventative measure, there are things you can do to prevent injuries as a result of an airbag deployment. Below are some tips from a whiplash chiropractor to prevent airbag injuries:
- Always wear your seatbelt!
- Children under 12 should always ride in the backseat when possible.
- Make sure you are using the correct car seat for your child’s height and weight.
- Position yourself at least 10 inches back from the airbag deployment area of your vehicle.
- Children should be properly restrained and seated at all times.
Comprehensive Accident Care
It’s important to understand what doctor to see after a car accident. One of the things you can do is to visit a whiplash chiropractor who can properly evaluate you. The specialists at AICA Conyers will be able to identify any injuries you may have missed and know what to look for if your airbags deployed. Schedule your first session with AICA Conyers today to begin treatment now!