Although airbags have been included in automobiles since the 1970s, their popularity and standard inclusion came to full effect in 1997. Since then, airbags have been essential in preventing fatal incidents in cars involved in collisions.
Read on to find out all you need to know about your vehicle’s airbag maintenance:
- One of the most important parts of an airbag’s functionality are the crash sensors, which trigger the airbag’s inflation and release on impact. These need to be inspected regularly by a mechanic, or a certified car technician, to ensure that they are working adequately.
- Read the airbag section in your car’s instruction manual. You will find details regarding warning lights, when to have your airbag checked by a professional, and how to position your seats and steering wheel to provide you and your passengers with the optimum level of protection.
- It is advisable to have your airbags checked once at least every four years. If you are involved in a fender bender whereby your airbags do not deploy, have them checked anyway.
- Airbags should always be repaired or replaced following an accident where they have deployed. Ensure that a diagnostics test is completed before you drive off.
Whilst proper airbag maintenance is important, so is driving and using your car in such a way so as to ensure that your airbags offer you the best protection possible. Here are some pointers:
- Always wear your seat belt. Your seat belt, coupled with your airbag, are your best injury prevention mechanisms.
- If you drive a vehicle that allows for tilting of the steering wheel, ensure that the steering wheel is directed at your chest instead of your head. The airbag needs to protect your chest and shoulders from injury, rather than hitting you in the face.
- Sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel to prevent a heavy blow from the airbag deployment.
- Do not place a rear-facing child-safety-seat in the front passenger seat when your vehicle is fitted with airbags.
With the right maintenance and driving habits, you can ensure that your airbag will protect you as best as possible in a collision. Never ignore any warning lights relating to your airbags and stay buckled up and vigilant on the roads.
Should you be involved in an accident and survive because of your trustworthy airbag, make sure that you also have a reliable car insurance policy in place to take protect you from the costs you may incur from damage to the vehicle.