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Front Impacts

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  • Front Impacts

    In a previous post I referred to a frontal impact were the vehicle nosed dived and the air bags did not activate. I recieved a lot of great information. A lot of those who answered talked about air bag restrants, safe working distances, and the fact that the senors in the vehicle failed to pick up on the impact. This is all excellent, but not exactly what I was looking for. This is a condition that we see so often we are starting to take what can be a very dangerous situation for both rescuer and vctim for granted recommending the cure all to just be safe.I think it can be agreed that part of the reason the bags do not deploy in this type of accident are because the senors are free from impact and that moving the senors or adding another one may be the answer. But how do we communicate our real life finds and observations to vehicle and air bag manufactors. I know there are Rescue professionals attempting to work with companies like Autoliv to increase Rescuer input on subjects that affect both rescuers and our patients. How can the rest of us get involved. Also the vehicle mentioned was a Toyota, One of the answering post also referred to a Toyota is this common in Toyotas? Is it happening with regularity in other makes as well.

  • #2
    A Posting from Forum Moderator Ron Moore

    Chief 28-1:

    I did not read your original post regarding your Toyota non-deployment.

    I'm the Fire Training Manager for the Plano Texas Fire Department. Last year, 2,482 of our total 15,117 runs were vehicle crashes. I make about 90 responses a month myself.

    We're seeing the same thing that you related to; airbag non-deployment. Every time I've followed up on one of our specific cases, there became a common reason why the bags did not deploy.

    Our research found that the specific vehicle did not undergo enough change of velocity to reach the equivalent of an instant stoppage of forward movement.

    Situations where the crash was off-angle, or the car crashed into a brick wall that exploded apart, or the crash sideswiped the car and spun it off to the side, etc. That has been our experience.

    With ours it wasn't that the system failed or that the sensors were defective. It was that the exact energy dynamics of the impact did not meet the design threshold of the deployment sensors.

    We train our 275 firefighters to be alert to "loaded' airbags regardless of how devastating the vehicles look as we pull up.


    • #3
      We had a situation like this just today, as a matter of fact.

      a late-model chevy (I did not have time to pay attention to the model, too busy with pt, and ended up having to fill in for a missing crew member on the gut bucket.) T-boned a pickup truck that was making a left-hand turn. The chevy's front end was pretty much demolished, and one of the first things I noticed was the lack of a depolyed airbag. Sure enough, the steering wheel and passenger dash was marked as being airbag-equipped, but did not deploy. It surprised me, because the car hit dead center in the truck's door, at about 45 miles per hour. Defect? Maybe, I don't know.


      • #4
        Cheif 28-1:
        About all you can do is attempt to stay on top of how to operate with the undeployed bags threatening you and your patient. Ron Moore and others are working to make this a safer operation, but the auto manufacturers could'nt care less about rescue personnel- they're more worried about how hard the airbags are to steal, how much insurance companies will pay to replace deployed modules, and keeping you coming back to the dealer for repairs. Capt. Dan


        • #5
          Off the topic a bit, but still concerning airbags... I just learned last night that a neighboring department had an amputation caused by a passenger airbag deployment. The car failed to stop at a dead-end "T" intersection and drove into a ditch. The car was traveling at a low speed and the passenger apparently reached up on the dashboard to brace herself. The deployment upon impact took her arm off below her elbow. The squad reported that the windshield wasn't even broken. So, even though airbags have saved alot of injuries, we still have to be concerned with the infant issue and now this.

          Richard Nester
          Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.


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