Got in a car accident, airbags didnt deploy, what to do?


Well-Known Member
Hi guys driving to school today i was going through a green light when someone suddenly made a left turn infront of me, and I hit them right on, going at about 50km/h, the funny thing is the airbags didnt deploy... it's a 2001 dodge carvan, and my chest is killin me right now, does anyone have an idea why this might have happened, or where i can find out why? the road conditions were pretty bad slush on them, hit full brakes and it didnt slow at all, thanks everyone.

Sue! Sue like there is not friggin' tomorrow. Sue Dodge so hard that they'll go out of business. Sue my friend... sue!!!

Oh wait... you're in Canada.... you're screwed.



Glad you're okay first and foremost! I would first contact a physician and make sure you're okay. Then I'd take the automobile to a mechanic and let them figure out the reason why the air bag didn't deploy.

If there is a Dodge dealership near you, that'd be a place to start.
Yeah dude. Make sure you haven't fractured any ribs. They are probably bruised but you definitely need to check it out.

Do everything else after this.

First glad to see your alright...

I'll check with my mom.. she works for a major insurance company and deals with accidents and all kinds of wierd incidents.. but start with the obvious by keeping good records of everything and anything !!

Aside from that pretty much what everyone had mentioned in previous posts..

take care !!
I have been in two accidents in two different vehicles where the airbags did not deploy. One was a rearending at 40mph on the highway in a chevy lumina and no airbag, and the other was a honda accord with a broadsiding at 30 mph with no airbag either. Funny, because my buddy was in a hyundai driving down the highway and the airbag suddnely deployed breaking his arm and giving him some burns. He sued and won. he is no an American airline FA living in puerto rico like a king...he works for fun.....
Were they possibly disarmed? Newer vehicles have this feature for when kids are riding up front.
Were they possibly disarmed? Newer vehicles have this feature for when kids are riding up front.

[/ QUOTE ]

Nah, i thought of doesnt have a disarm switch.
Air bags are only made to deploy in certain types of accidents. Read your user manuel, I *believe*, it's only supposed to be in frontal dead-on collisions, but not positive. Anyway, glad your ok!
yeah, i think it depends on the type of impact and the severity of it. sometimes airbags can do more harm than good deploying in certain situations, just as one reader had just mentioned above. maybe you're better off having a bruised rib from the seat belts than having a broken arm if the airbag had deployed.
Another thing to think about, has this car ever been in a previous accident? The air bag sensors may not have been repaired properly, or in an exterme case of repair neglect, you may not have any real airbags under your steering wheel cover.
hi guys, thanks a lot for your input, well the car has never been in a previous accident, and you can say that the vehicle was in a direct collision hitting the other car dead on the side, but the initial impact zone was the front right, after talking to chrysler, the guy tried to tell me that the airbags didnt deploy because the sensors are at the front of the hood and that only deploy when it feels the vehicle is coming to a quick stop, and with the snow being on the ground the cars slid a little, but there is extensive damage, i had though airbag sensors were on the front of the vehicle, but im not sure....thanks again
The manual should tell you where the sensor's are and how/when they're deployed if hit...

but in any case, i'd have your chest checked out for bruised ribs and documented for future reference. you never know - sometimes those bruises or what not really come into effect weeks later (similar to neck and back pain) and chest pain like that can take a long time to heal...

not only that, but you could get a traffic accident analyst to check out your case - they'd be able to tell you whether or not the airbags should have deployed and what/who was really at fault - the other driver, or the municipality (city/county) for sight distance in the intersection, the signal or the intersection geometrics itself. I'm not sure what they charge citizens though cuz insurance companies & traffic engineers usually use them for accident lawsuits (expert witness testimony). If you do decide to check out the intersection records, the accident records are public information and if there have been a lot of accidents in the past 3 years at that intersection (say over 10 injuries and/or 5 fatalities) - you can do something about it by talking to the city/county engineer (whoever has jurisdiction).

sounds like the other driver wasn't paying attention (misjudging distance for the turn) or the city/county may be at fault since the sight distance at the intersection may have been poor depending on how many trees/shrubs are around that area, how grown they are (if they'd been trimmed by the city recently), if signs were in the way of sight, and if there's a curve in the road before/after the intersection, that could play a factor as well. Many times, it's human error that plays into it, but it's also based on whether the intersection was designed for safety or not - unfortunately, most aren't since there's nothng yet to compare safety levels except for a software called Traf-SAFE ( or and there aren't any municipalities that are using it yet - we're still trying to get it out there and recognized but it predicts intersection safety to a 98% accuracy, which means less injuries and less fatalities overall...

probably more information than you wanted! haha but hey - it always helps to plug a good product!!
I believe airbags are designed to only deploy above a certain speed, so if you bump something at parking lot speeds, your airbags won't deploy. You said you hit the brakes hard so, assuming you don't have ABS, your wheels locked up thus telling your airbag system your speed was 0. Your manual should tell you what the cutoff threshold is.

I got hit pretty hard on the highway once, but since the guy had all four wheels locked up his airbags didn't go off...even though he plowed into me at 40-60mph.

Anyways, hope you feel better and hopefully it's nothing to serious.