The Explosive Charge Inside an Airbag Is Terrifying

I realize that airbags have saved countless lives since they were introduced in the early ‘70s, but that doesn’t make the idea of having a giant pillow explode in your face any less terrifying. Especially after watching the explosive mechanism that fills an airbag in just 0.03 seconds detonate in super slow motion.

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It’s really not a good idea to tamper with or try to disassemble an airbag, because while they can save your life in a car crash, they can cause serious harm outside of a vehicle. I’m not condoning YouTube’s Giaco Whatever’s experiments, but it is fascinating to see exactly how these safety devices deploy in the blink of an eye.

[YouTube]

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DISCUSSION

Airbags are dangerous shit.

I did a brief stint at the TRL (UK) and was shown photos of a small girl who’d died because of an airbag explosion.

Ok - somewhat of an edge case, but probably not unique - her vehicle had hit another, lightly, and the airbag hadn’t gone off. But it was then hit from behind, quite hard, and the airbag DID go off. Unfortunately the first impact had thrown her forward and her head was almost resting on the airbag when it went off. :( It’s a scenario that can very easily happen in stop-start, heavy traffic. Yes she’d been wearing a seatbelt.

My supervisor, who showed me the case photos said it was an example of why seatbelts made for a much better safety device than airbags.