Airbags are responsible for the final deadening of an impact, after the safety belts have absorbed most of the energy released by the occupant. A pyrotechnic gas generator managed by a computer ensures their inflation.
Today, all vehicles are equipped with 2 frontal airbags. The first, integrated in the steering wheel, protects the driver; the second, in the instrument panel, protects the passenger.
Their volume can vary from one model of car to another but, on average, it is around 60 litres for the driver airbag and approximately 150 litres for the passenger airbag. This variation of volume is explained by the presence of the steering wheel, which reduces the distance separating the driver from the cockpit elements.
It has been shown that in the event of a frontal impact, the action of the airbags, combined with that of the safety belts, decreases the number of drivers killed by 25% and of passengers by 15%.
In the same way, in both cases, it decreases the number of serious thoracic injuries by 65% and that of head injuries by 75%.
IN SHORT >>>
The airbags inflate in 30 thousandths of a second to supplement the action of the safety belt during the final phase of impact deadening. They reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 75%.