Helping The Hurt Attorney Blog

Car Safety Features May Cause Problems in an Accident

Key Takeaways:

  1. Dual Nature of Safety Features: While designed to protect, safety features like seat belts and airbags can also cause injuries such as abrasions, fractures, and internal damage during accidents.
  2. Impact on Insurance and Legal Fields: Advanced safety features influence insurance claims and premiums, and their performance or failure introduces complex challenges in legal cases regarding liability and compensation.
  3. Immediate Action Required: Following an accident, immediate medical attention is crucial to address injuries, and consulting with experienced car accident injury attorneys can ensure appropriate compensation for damages caused by negligent drivers.

While safety features like seat belts and airbags in modern vehicles are designed to protect occupants during car accidents, they can also cause injuries. 

Seat belts, intended to prevent ejection during a collision, can exert significant force on the body, potentially leading to severe injuries. 

Similarly, airbags, while less commonly associated with harm, can cause life-altering trauma when deployed. 

These advanced safety features, crucial for saving lives, highlight a complex balance between risk and protection in auto accidents.

That's why consultation with a car accident attorney after an accident is crucial.

Let's take a look at some common injuries seatbelts and airbags may cause during an accident.


Table Of Contents


Common Seat Belt Injuries 

1. Chest and Sternum Injuries

In car accidents, the seat belt directly impacts the chest and sternum, which, while crucial for safety, can exert substantial force during sudden stops or collisions. 

This pressure can lead to significant injuries to the sternum, positioned near vital organs like the heart and lungs, potentially affecting their function. 

Immediate medical attention is essential if you experience soreness or ache in the chest area post-accident.

These symptoms could indicate severe internal injuries. 

Advanced safety features, such as seat belts, play a dual role in protecting and posing risks to vehicle occupants.

2. Rib Injuries

Seat Belt Injury After a Car Accident

Seat belts can also cause rib fractures during severe motor vehicle crashes.

Rib injuries often result in intense pain that can persist for several months. 

Emergency medical attention is imperative if rib fractures are suspected after a car accident.

Displaced bones can potentially puncture vital organs such as the heart or lungs.

While seat belts save thousands of lives annually, their powerful impact in high-severity collisions can pose severe risks to the rib cage, emphasizing the complex nature of automotive safety technology.

3. Abrasions and Lacerations 

External injuries like abrasions and lacerations can also be caused by seatbelts. 

The friction from the belt's rough material rubbing against the skin during a collision can result in painful scrapes and cuts. 

The intense pressure exerted by the seat belt during impact can also leave imprints, making the affected area sore and bruised. 

Prompt treatment of seat belt wounds is crucial to prevent the risk of infection, highlighting the importance of immediate medical care after accidents involving advanced safety features.

4. Abdomen and Soft Tissue Injuries

While the abdominal region may not directly contact the seat belt during a motor vehicle accident, the intense pressure exerted in collisions can lead to significant injuries to the abdomen and surrounding soft tissues. 

Symptoms of abdominal injuries, including pain and discomfort, might not appear immediately but can emerge later, indicating potential damage to internal organs. 

Vehicle occupants who experience any post-accident abdominal pain must seek medical attention promptly to assess and address any internal injuries, ensuring their long-term health and safety in the event of collisions.

5. Shoulder Injuries

In car accidents, the intense force exerted by seat belts can result in significant shoulder injuries, such as torn tendons and muscle fibers. 

This type of injury typically causes pain and discomfort, necessitating medical interventions like frequent icing to reduce inflammation and physical therapy to restore shoulder mobility. 

While seat belts are crucial for preventing more severe injuries during accidents, they can sometimes cause substantial damage to soft tissues, especially in high-impact collisions. 

Victims experiencing shoulder injuries should seek immediate medical care to mitigate long-term damage and facilitate recovery.

Common Airbag Injuries 

Airbags are another standard safety feature in modern vehicles.

They are designed to prevent more severe injuries during car accidents by cushioning the blow for vehicle occupants. 

However, airbag deployment can also cause various injuries, influenced by factors such as the type of airbag, the substances used within the airbag, and the speed at which they inflate.

Some of the most common injuries resulting from airbag deployment include:

  • Abrasions: Contact with rapidly inflating airbags can cause abrasions to the face, chest, and upper extremities.
  • Burns: The chemicals used to deploy airbags can lead to minor to severe burns on the chest, hands, or arms.
  • Internal Bleeding: The force exerted by airbags, especially during high-speed collisions, can cause internal bleeding in passengers.
  • Facial Fractures: The impact with an airbag can break bones in the face or chest, particularly in close-range deployments.
  • Brain Bruising or Swelling: While airbags aim to reduce head injuries, the force can still cause brain bruising or swelling.
  • Loss of Consciousness: The sudden and forceful expansion of airbags can lead to temporary loss of consciousness.
  • Skin Irritation: The chemicals and friction from airbags can irritate the skin, leading to discomfort and rashes.
  • Throat Irritation: Inhalation of substances from the airbag deployment can irritate the throat, causing coughing and soreness.

While lifesaving, the rapid deployment of airbags can sometimes cause these injuries due to the sheer force and chemical reactions involved.

Advanced vehicle safety systems are continuously being refined to reduce these risks, incorporating features like adjustable inflation rates and improved materials to make airbags safer for all occupants. 

Despite these advancements, airbag injuries can still be severe and lead to disability or chronic health issues.

This underscores the importance of advanced medical treatment following an accident and thorough investigations by accident attorneys to address potential liability or compensation claims.

Common Airbag Injuries after a Car Accident

The Role of Safety Features in Determining Insurance Rates

Insurance companies heavily weigh the presence of advanced safety features when determining rates and premiums. 

Features like rearview cameras, blind spot detection, and anti-lock braking systems are now standard in many modern vehicles, promoting safer driving conditions and reducing the risk of rear crashes and other types of collisions. 

However, while these advanced safety systems can lower the severity of injuries and reduce the frequency of claims, they also complicate insurance assessments. 

Enhanced safety technology can lead to higher repair costs, impacting insurance rates. 

Additionally, vehicles equipped with collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking are perceived to have a lower fatality risk, which can positively influence insurance premiums. 

Legal Implications of Accidents Involving Advanced Safety Features

The involvement of advanced safety features in motor vehicle accidents introduces complex challenges for accident lawyers. 

Determining liability becomes complicated when systems like Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) or automatic braking fail to prevent a crash. 

Legal professionals must consider whether a design defect, manufacturing defect, or a failure in deploying safety features like curtain airbags or frontal airbags contributed to the accident's severity. 

Experienced attorneys must navigate these cases, often involving detailed analysis of crash avoidance technologies and their operational history. 

Moreover, if safety features improperly activate causing a crash, the legal debate extends to whether the auto industry's push for advanced technology is outpacing the effectiveness of these systems in real-world scenarios. 

Each case can significantly influence future legal standards and safety regulations in the automotive sector.

Contact Helping The Hurt

If you've been injured in a car accident, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention to address any injuries, including those from safety features like seat belts and airbags. 

Afterward, consulting with an experienced car accident injury attorney can ensure you are compensated for any damages caused by a negligent driver. 

At Helping The Hurt, our Georgia attorneys specialize in motor vehicle accidents and offer a free consultation to discuss your claim. 

Don’t wait—schedule a free consult with the Top Accident Injury Lawyers at our Georgia law firm today. 


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