According to a report by The Palm Beach Post, an elderly woman rear-ended a Florida Power and light truck around 7 p.m. recently and may have had her left arm severed above the elbow due to airbag deployment. The collision occurred in the 100 block of SW 18th Street. There is no further word in this article whether or not the driver of the Mercury Grand Marquis was wearing a seat belt. The woman was taken to Delray Medical Center and there is no word on her condition.
When an airbag deploys, it is supposed to keep a person from hitting the steering wheel, windshield, or dashboard of a vehicle. In order to be effective, the airbag deploys at speeds of up to 200 mph.
While airbags are designed to keep vehicle occupants safe, inadvertent airbag deployment can lead to serious injuries. Between 1990 and 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 290 deaths due to the deployment of air bags in low-speed crashes. Sixty-eight percent were passengers and more than 90 percent were children and infants who were in child safety seats too close to the exploding airbag. About 80 percent were unrestrained when they were killed by the airbag. It is recommend anyone who sits closer than 10 inches to the steering wheel should use pedal extenders to avoid injury from a deployed airbag.
However, in some cases, an airbag can be defective. An experienced Florida defective airbag attorney will want to launch an investigation to determine if the vehicle’s airbags may have been under a prior recall and were never serviced.