Car Airbags

By: Alexia Ellison- Minter

Necessities of an Airbag

Car airbags are a very necessary thing to have in cars. Car airbags keep you safe in many different ways. Airbags were first invented by John W. Hetrick in 1952 , on July 11,1984 the U.S. required cars to have airbags. Lets say you're driving down a road going 40 mph and you hit a tree. Your car is going to stop but your body is still going to be moving forward ,without an airbag your head will just hit the steering wheel which can cause major damage to your face, with an airbag your head will hit the air bag you face may be a sore but that's better than getting defaced by your steering wheel. Being in the passenger seat the same thing will happen without an airbag.

2NaN3-->2Na+3N2 is the equation that make an airbag inflate which is an decomposition equation. NaN3 is sodium azide it goes through a chemical reaction commonly referred as a pyrotechnic chain. Alkaline ,silicate, and gas are some substances produced by this chemical reaction. Heat starts this reaction that causes the airbag inflate.130 grams of sodium azide will produce 67 liters of nitrogen gas -enough to inflate a normal airbag.Na or sodium is a very dangerous and harmful if it were to get in your eyes or nose.its very reactive when coming in contact to water. To minimize danger sodium is mixed with other chemical s to make it less harmful and toxic.

Statistics :

  • From 1990 -2001, died from airbags there were, 3.3 million deployments, and they saved 6377 lives , while there are deaths with airbags this statistic shows that airbags save more lives than they take.
  • From the time sensors detect a collision and an airbag is deployed is only 30 milliseconds.
  • In only frontal crashes airbags prevented 31%of fatality risk.
  • In all frontal crashes 19% of fatality risk were prevented.
  • In 11%of all crashes fatality risk were prevented by airbags.


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