air bag

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air bag

A safety device installed in passenger cars and other vehicles (including helicopters and motorcycles) which consists of a rubberised nylon bag that inflates rapidly in frontal impacts, and, in an increasing number of vehicles, in side impacts. Dashboard air bags are standard equipment in personal vehicles in the US; side impact bags are usually “factory options”.
Mechanism Airbags detonate by spark ignition of sodium azide, nitrogen gas, ash, and NaOH.
Pros Estimated 6,377 lives saved from 1990 to 2000 (US); airbags reduce traffic fatalities by ±6.5%, assuming that a shoulder belt is worn.
Cons Skin abrasions, hearing loss due to loud (165-175 dB)deployment explosion, head injuries, eye damage (chemical keratitis, photophobia related to intraocular deposition of powder, ocular contusions), broken nose and upper extremities, burns due to hot gases, and death (which peaked at 53 in 1997, with a total of 175 between 1990 and 2000, per US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Air bags may deploy during rescue efforts by emergency personnel.
Causes of death Decapitation (infants, especially in rear facing seats), injuries including aortic transection; at highest risk are infants and children under age 13 years, those under 160 cm in height, and the elderly.

air bag

A balloon, positioned in a car steering wheel or dashboard, that inflates rapidly triggered by a deceleration sensor. A sudden chemical reaction generates nitrogen that, very briefly, inflates the balloon. The latter almost immediately deflates.
References in periodicals archive ?
The air bags were not made by Takata, according to Toyota.
Legislators in 31 states have responded in the last five years with legislation that prohibits the importation, manufacture, sale, installation or re-installation of counterfeit and nonfunctional air bags.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an order requiring Takata to preserve all air bag inflators removed through the recall process as evidence for both NHTSA s investigation and private litigation cases.
While they'll partly get their wish, the expanded recall won't cover passenger air bags, at least not yet.
Facing the allegations of faulty making of air bags, Takata, endorsed Toyota's recall and said it would cooperate with NHTSA and customers with replacement of parts and undertake a detailed technical analysis.
Toyota said it would in some cases disable air bags, leaving a note not to ride in the front passenger seat.
The government opened an investigation this month after getting six reports of air bags rupturing.
This problem could illuminate the air bag warning light, disable the air bag or cause them to set out by accident.
Multiple case studies in the literature report injuries attributed to air bag deployment, (9-14) and several recent studies using larger patient cohorts have shown increased risk of upper and lower extremity injuries when air bags deploy.
The rear-seat position did not benefit restrained adults in vehicles with front-passenger air bags, noted Dr.
In contrast to the motorcycle industry's stance on helmets, automakers played an early and conspicuous role in the debate over seat belt laws, which they began pushing in 1983 as an alternative to the air bags the federal government was threatening to require.