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Airbags failed to deploy

Hydroplaned yesterday. I was going about 40-45 mph tried my best to keep it under control but the road was too wet. I received several injuries to my neck and wife hurt her head pretty bad. My question, considering looking at the condition of the car. Should the airbags have deployed? Cuz they did not. I asked several car experts and all of them gave me the answer that they should’ve

There is no way that can be answered on the web. Direct this question to your insurance carrier .
And don’t sign off on any settlement until a medical professional has released from care .


It appears that the impact occurred above the bumper on soft structure of the vehicle. There may not have been enough of a shock to the safing sensor in the airbag control module to deploy the airbags. Had the impact occurred on the bumper directly things may have been different.


As @VOLVO_V70 said check with your insurance carrier or on scene police accident investigator. See a medical professional and consider getting an attorney.

Air bags have a series of sensors with an algorithm to determine if the air bags should deploy or not. Air bags are not soft fluffy pillows, they are violent explosions inflating a bag to try to keep you from dying. The trade off is without the air bag you might die, with the air bag you might live but with some serious facial & chest injuries caused by the air bag in addition to accident injuries. You survived, with injuries, my guess is the air bags would not have helped so the computer did not deploy the air bags.
Also some cars do not deploy passenger air bags if the seat belt is not fastened or the person is too light or sitting forward on the seat. The air bag could cause more injuries.

Check out the FAQs on the NHTSA site

Check out this link on why you should sit correctly in your seat

We do not know the impact speed for whatever you hit. I was looking it up as a guy that rear ended me and had airbags deployed on the 15th of this month. It varied from 14 to 28 mph in my quick search, Rear ended my airbags did not deploy, the angle of impact with whatever might be a factor in your case.

Ask your shop if your vehicle stores any of the safety-sensor and vehicle speed values in the computer memory. That might provide a clue. My guess is the airbags didn’t deploy b/c they weren’t supposed to for that sort of crash, and it did what the car’s designers wanted it to do.


Honestly the damage doesn’t look all that bad. Looks like the bumper cover and lower facia is gone, but the bumper structure itself doesn’t even look bent. I’m guessing this was a glacing blow and not a direct frontal impact. I wouldn’t expect the airbags to deploy in such an impact. Airbag deployment is violent and can cause injury itself. They only deploy when the impact is severe enough to warrant it, like a scenario in which if they didn’t deploy you’d die or have severe injuries. From the sound of things you and your wife got away with relatively mild injuries (as presumably you’re in good enough health of to post your story a day later).


Think of the airbag sensors as an electric switch on the wall. Now the accident is a random hand hitting the wall. If it doesn’t hit it in the right place, it would not trigger them.
I am guessing, the accident did not impact the sensors directly and the overall impact was not bad enough for them to explode.
As mentioned, airbag deployment is not fun, you can break your hand, fingers it they are in the wrong spot, you can also get burn marks on your arm. Some develop a PTSD type situation for a while after.

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What does the airbag control module do if the wheels are locked giving a ZERO mph signal at the time of impact?

That doesn’t happen anymore with ABS. But, the control algorithm knows you can’t go from 50 to zero (for example) under a certain time frame and there are yaw and pitch sensors providing signals as to the motion of the car.

I was in an accident about 20 years ago. A friend and I were in his car using the entrance ramp of a limited access highway. Another car approached the exit ramp too fast and the left front tire went onto the grass. The two lanes came together with only a 2-foot side concrete berm a few inches tall between us. Anyway, the other driver tried to correct and spun around in our lane directly in front of us. Our front end met her back end. My friend’s car was badly damaged back to the front doors. The other driver’s car was about 5 inches shorter. Air bags? They didn’t deploy in our car despite a significant impact. The damage was far worse than on yours. I’m not surprised your bags didn’t deploy.

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