air bag


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
Related to air bag: Air bed

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 ?
DETROIT -- The federal government is demanding that the auto industry recall millions of additional cars equipped with faulty air bags that can injure--and even kill--a driver.
It was a letter from Honda urging her to get her red Accord fixed, because of defective air bags that could explode.
Occupants with deployment of an air bag alone or air bag deployment with the use of a seat belt accounted for less than 9% of the sample.
Certain changes were made for vehicles manufactured after February 25, 1997; probably the most basic one was that occupants were no longer warned to "not sit or lean unnecessarily close to the air bag.
The risk reduction with the rear seat increased to 47% in vehicles with a front-passenger air bag present.
Chrysler Group, a division of DaimlerChrysler AG, said the air bag system might not be compatible with some rear-facing child seat models if the passenger seat is adjusted all the way forward and an air bag deploys.
That strategy took on a new urgency in 1984, when Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole said the federal air bag mandate would begin to take effect in 1986 but would be lifted if seat belt laws covering at least two-thirds of the U.
Less than one second after inflation, the air bag begins to deflate automatically.
Several years later, air bag theft is still prevalent but data on the extent of the problem, the cars most at risk, and preventive measures are hard to come by, as Joe Spillane, CPP, a New York security professional, recently discovered.
A company is working on a load cell to make the air bag safer for the passenger at risk.
Any information that you could tell me about air bag safety would be greatly appreciated.
The S80 joins Mercedes-Benz as first car to offer an "inflatable curtain" air bag that is designed to protect the head and upper torso in a side impact.