Can a Frontal Airbag Break Your Nose in a Car Accident?

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There are a number of ways public health officials, vehicle manufacturers, and lawmakers have tried to reduce motor vehicle deaths and injuries. Lawmakers, for example, have passed laws in many states designed to curb behavior problems, like distracted driving and drunk driving, that exponentially increase the risk of a deadly accident.

Improved vehicle safety technology is another way to tackle the problem, and vehicle manufacturers have come a long way in making safer vehicles to drive. Most standard features in modern automobiles include blind spot monitoring and other driver assistance technologies that prevent common causes of accidents on the road.

How Frontal Airbags Can Cause Injuries

One could argue that no technology has been more important in reducing the number of deaths on the road as frontal airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that frontal airbags save nearly 3,000 lives every year. Frontal airbags became standard equipment in all vehicles in 1989.

Unfortunately, no technology is perfect, and frontal airbags have come under scrutiny for causing injuries and even deaths. Currently, the Takata airbag recall is one of the largest safety recalls in the country, affecting more than 40 million vehicles across the world. A safety defect in the airbag inflator has caused airbags to explode, resulting in 16 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Even frontal airbags that aren’t subject to a recall can cause significant injuries due to the inherent violent nature of their deployment.

A frontal airbag is designed to prevent contact with a steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield upon collision. In order to achieve this, it must explode out of its housing in less than a second. And the material isn’t exactly pillow-like. However, most will agree that making contact with an airbag is better than slamming into a steel panel or glass windshield.

Airbag technology has progressed over the years, but injuries do occur. The most commonly affected are children and the elderly as they lack the strength to withstand the initial force of the frontal airbag. Not wearing a seatbelt or sitting too close to the steering wheel increases the risk of injury as well. Of the many types of injuries that are caused by frontal airbag deployment, facial injuries are some of the most common.

Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Nose After an Airbag Deployment

In many cases, your nose will be the first part of your face that makes contact with the frontal airbag after an accident. Remember, a frontal airbag explodes at a speed of hundreds of miles an hour to deploy in time. The speed at which the nose hits the airbag could cause a fracture. You may hear your nose crack or experience other symptoms synonymous with a broken nose. Some of the most common signs that you’ve broken your nose include the following:

  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising (including under the eyes)
  • Pain
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Change in Appearance

If you experience any of these symptoms after an accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will examine your injury and diagnose the condition. Your doctor may also order an MRI or CT scan if he or she suspects you may have an underlying serious injury. However, in most cases, your doctor should be able to diagnose a fracture and recommend minor treatments. If you wait longer than a few weeks to seek medical attention and your nose is broken, you may require surgery, which is why it’s important to see your doctor when you first start noticing any symptoms.

Our Philadelphia Airbag Injury Attorneys Can Help

In the event that a frontal airbag breaks your nose, you may ave a case against the manufacturer if it can be proven that the airbag malfunctioned and did not act as it was supposed to. As we mentioned above, no technology is perfect. The Takata airbag recall is proof that airbags can be very dangerous when they do not function properly.

Whether your frontal airbag malfunctioned or you were rear-ended by a distracted driver, you may have a case you can pursue to recoup any lost income and other costs sustained from the accident. While a broken nose usually isn’t life-threatening, you may have to take some time off from work or even undergo surgical treatment depending on the severity of the injury. A reputable personal injury lawyer may be able to help you find justice.

A vehicle accident can be a life-changing and traumatic event in one’s life. Although you may not be able to control how other people drive or whether your frontal airbag deploys, you can control what you do after the event. In many cases, this means hiring a personal injury attorney.

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