If you are in a motor vehicle accident, your car’s airbag may save your life. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates airbags prevented nearly 50,500 traffic fatalities between 1987 and 2017.
Your vehicle may have both frontal and side airbags. Because these airbags deploy with great force, you may suffer an airbag-related injury during a crash. Here are three catastrophic ones.
1. Eye injuries
When your face collides with your car’s airbag, your eyes may be at risk of serious injury in a few ways. First, you may scratch or otherwise damage the soft parts of your eyes. Your eye socket may also fracture due to the impact. Likewise, the powder that lubricates airbags may cause irritation, potentially even leading to temporary or permanent blindness.
2. Traumatic brain injuries
Even if you wear your seatbelt, your head may impact the airbag with enough force to cause a traumatic brain injury. TBIs range from minor to severe, with some causing long-term brain damage. Furthermore, the impact may rupture your meninges, potentially resulting in a life-threatening cerebrospinal fluid leak.
3. Internal injuries
While your car’s airbags are softer than its dashboard, they may be hard enough to cause serious internal damage. When your body collides with an airbag, you may tear a major vein or artery. This, unfortunately, may cause dangerous internal bleeding. The force of the impact may also contribute to organ or tissue damage.
Regardless of where they are on your body, catastrophic injuries are medical emergencies that require immediate care. Because you may not realize you have a serious airbag-related injury until hours or days after the collision, you should go to the emergency room for a comprehensive medical evaluation.