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Helpful or Harmful? Auto Accident Attorneys in Orlando Warn of Airbag Injuries
Just last month, Honda Motor Co. recalled 374,000 Odyssey minivans (2003 and 2004 models) and Acura MDX SUVs (2003), warning vehicle owners about a potential electrical problem that could cause airbag systems to malfunction. It's just the latest in a record string of airbag recalls.
Automobile airbags are credited with saving the lives of some 3,000 motorists each year in America. But the sheer force behind an airbag's deployment, plus hazards that emerge as airbags age, can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries, too, say auto accident attorneys with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates.
During the 2012 calendar year, automakers issued a record 22 airbag-related recalls. But by May of this year, 15 already had been issued, setting the nation on track for another unfortunate record-breaking year. Airbags work via software designed to deploy frontal, side, curtain and knee airbags within milliseconds of detecting a collision. Unfortunately, that software system isn't foolproof. Many incidents of airbags deploying prematurely, either in a minor finder-bender or with no collision at all, have been reported.
Airbags can inflate as fast as 200 mph and, under Federal regulations, are designed to inflate and restrain an average adult male not wearing a seatbelt crashing into a concrete barrier at 30 mph. That force is equal to about 2,000 pounds exploding toward a driver or passenger so fast that they cannot see it happening. Plus, as airbags age, small parts can break off and settle inside them or around their edges. Upon deployment of the airbag, these small parts can become shrapnel. Faulty, old or malfunctioning airbags can be blamed for skin lacerations and abrasions; hearing or eye damage; broken bones in the nose, fingers, hands and arms; and head and neck injuries.
Automobiles recalled for airbag issues, including the Honda Odysseys and Acura MDX SUVs, can be repaired free of charge. Just confirm that your vehicle is among those affected in a recall and take it to your nearest licensed dealer. However, if you or your dependents have been injured as a result of a faulty or malfunctioning airbag, don't take it back to the dealer just yet, as it can be used as evidence in your auto accident or personal injury case. Instead, get medical attention immediately, then contact Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995 in Orlando or 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.