Will air bags deploy if the key is only at accessory position?

Okay this is my question for the day…

On the weather channel the question was asked…What to do if you are in a situation like the white-out multi car/truck accident on I-94 in MI…???
(here in AZ we have brown-outs) ???

Their answer…

Leave your seat belt on…you are off the road and Hazards lights are on…okay

next is my problem…leaving the engine on while at the side of the road because
they said that airbags do not work( as in deploy) if the engine is off.
and with “efi” unless you turn the engine off the gas is still being pumped onto a hot engine.

So will airbags deploy if just the engine key has only gone to “accessory” ?
or does it have to be all of the way to "engine running

Does the airbag light come on for its test cycle when the key is in accessory? If not, I’d guess the airbag circuit is not in play in that position.

Academic since I don’t believe the air bags are going to deploy anyway in a rear end collision. What would be the point of them deploying if you are sitting on the side of the road, obviously not in fear of running into someone, and get hit from behind? What good would they do?

True @Bing, but what if the car were knocked into another car or guard rail in front of it?

I think being knocked into another car or guard rail the impact force would be less than required to activate the airbags.

You might have spun and be facing traffic.

@VOLVO_V70 It would depend entirely on how hard they were hit. I have seen cars hit from behind so hard that the trunk lid was even with the back glass. I’ve even seen those where the back glass was still intact. Those impacts probably forced those cars forward at well over 50 MPH. THAT will pop an airbag if there is a subsequent frontal impact, even if the occupants have their seat belts fastened. (Did you know the car’s computer checks?) Accidents can do some really weird things.

Air bags do not deploy if there is no speed.

I know everyone says " stay with the car" …but at some point, I am taking my chances and diving for the nearest giant sequoia . I trust Mother Nature more then not knowing if and when the next air bag will deploy.

So will airbags deploy if just the engine key has only gone to “accessory” ?

OP, the answer is- it depends on the design used for your car. Some do and some don’t.
Here is a link to an article that addresses your question- http://www.autonews.com/article/20140401/OEM11/140409994/critical-question-went-unasked-by-nhtsa-unanswered-by-gm

If you are one of the last cars in line while stopped on a highway, I think you should get out and move onto the shoulder well away from your car and the rear of the queue. This should only be done when traffic is not moving at all. My best friend died about 40 years ago when he and his girl friend were stopped in a situation like this on the Indiana Turnpike (I-90). They were the last car in line; she sat in front and he slept in back. A tractor trailer didn’t notice the stoppage until it was too late. The tractor ended up on top of their car, crushing them and then plowed ahead through several more cars.

@jtsanders I agree! Years ago one of my friends was nearly killed when he was waiting at a railroad crossing and a truck plowed into the rear of his car and shoved him against the moving train. Although this situation was unique, it proves tat you don’t want to be the last one in the queue.

The experts, whoever they are, stated on the news about the huge pile up that happened this week that passengers are better off staying in their cars. At least if someone hits your car from behind, you have some protection.

Of course we can all site examples where someone was killed because they had their seat belt fastened.

Accidents happen. That’s why they are called accidents.

We’ve had about four highway patrol cars rear ended so far this winter. Stopped with strobe lights flashing. Of course one guy was drunk but the patrolwoman explained that people just get focused on the lights and tend to drive where they are looking. I remember we had this conversation before and someone here talked about it being like moths attracted to the light. I poo pooed it at the time but I’m starting to reconsider. You never want to be the last in line.

We had a saying I mountain biking: “look where you want to go, not at what you want to avoid”. That philosophy made me a far better mountain biker. It’s true, you’ll follow your eyes every time.

It also works in cars. And I still do it.