All cars these days have at least a driver's side air bag. This is an important safety device which will allow you to stay safe in case of a collision. What happens is when you run into something a signal will be issued through your car to the deployment mechanism. It will be deployed through the use of compressed gas. The bag will deploy instantly and will help to keep you from going through the windshield or hitting your head on the steering wheel. There are a few other things you will need to know about them to maintain safety.
Changing Driving Habits
While air bags are designed to keep you safe in case of an accident, there are certain things you should be doing in order to keep yourself safe when you are driving in a car that has air bags, The first thing you need to be aware of is how close you are sitting to the steering wheel. It is designed to inflate to full capacity. It will not make concessions for people that prefer to drive with their chest right up to the steering wheel. If this is the way that you drive, you are likely to come away from the accident with a broken nose at least.
The recommendation of the industry is that when driving cars with air bags that you drive at least an arms distance from the steering wheel. This will leave a significant gap between yourself and the air bag. This way when there is an accident, you will fall into the bag rather than the bag pushing you back from where you are sitting in the seat. If it is a height thing, consider elevating the seat or using a pillow under you so that you will be elevated rather than moving closer to the wheel.
Another thing you should watch out for is the way you grip the wheel. This is because if you are holding the wheel in such a manner where your arm crosses the middle of the steering wheel, you will run the risk of your arm being broken when they are deployed. The old standards of 10 and 2 still apply for more reasons than just making sure that you are keeping both hands on the wheel at the same time.
Getting Air Bags Inspected
It is a good idea to get the air bag system inspected from time to time. This is because you do not want for the system to malfunction at any given time. Remember that you do not want to get the system inspected too often of you run the risk of the system malfunctioning as well as the fact that you will spend a lot of money unnecessarily. You should, however get the system check at least every five years if it has not been used. This will make sure that the gas is ready to go and that the bag is still packed correctly.