1. #1
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    Default She rolled it but they didn't go off

    We got toned out to an MVA on Rt 140. Upon arrival, the PT had already self-extricated through the sunroof.

    The driver fell asleep drove up an embankment on the opposite side of the road. Now here is what I don't really understand. The car finally came to rest about 40-50 yards down the road on its driver's side facing the opposite direction of travel. I'm not sure how it came to rest the way it did. The vehicle did not have damage as it would if it had rolled over a few times but it must have rolled a couple of times.

    The passenger's side had very little to no damage.

    Anywho...after a while we were standing around waiting for the wrecker to show up and I noticed the airbags did not deploy.

    Been a while since I've been to an accident where the airbags didn't go off. Thought I'd share some pics.



    Last edited by Adze39; 12-23-2002 at 12:47 AM.
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    Hi!

    Reading your description of the accident and looking at the pictures it is clear that the dual frontal airbags stay in their case at this type of accident.

    I assume that this vehicle was not equipped with side-impact airbags because some of these are also designed to deploy in a rollover situation. The frontal airbags only deploy on head-on crashes (with about 30 to the sides of the car) and when the car is fast enough.

    Merry chrismas
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    After we saw the airbags didn't go off, we checked the front bumper in the area of the sensors to see if they suffered any damage. There was little damage to the front bumper.

    The vehicle was a Pontiac Sunfire.
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    All my training and experience would have led me to beleive that the bags did EXACTLY what they were meant to do- not deploy in a roll over or side impact!

    Frontal bags will deploy under certain circumstance in frontal or near frontal airbags. You need to be aware that there needs to be certain conditions met before they will deploy, though....
    Luke

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    Originally posted by drkblram
    how fast joerg? I was in an accident, car pulled out infront of me, I T-boned it, almost straight on at around 10 MPH, maybe a tad more. no deployement?
    "Typically, mechanical devices are tuned to deploy at a flexible delta V range of 8 mph to 14 mph. If the system can discriminate whether the occupants are restrained, the system may not deploy until a speed change of 16 mph to 18 mph is predicted."

    http://www.tarorigin.com/art/Ephillips/

    Interesting stuff.


    Good info here under "When Do Airbags Deploy"
    http://www.licensingoffice.com/Tips/Airbags.html

    "Airbags are designed to deploy in frontal and near frontal collisions which are comparable to hitting a solid barrier at approximately 10 to 14 miles per hour (mph). Roughly speaking, a 14 mph barrier collision is equivalent to striking a parked car of similar size across the full front of each vehicle at about 28 mph. This is because the parked car absorbs some of the energy of the crash, thus slowing the deceleration of the striking vehicle. Unlike crash tests into barriers, real world crashes typically occur at angles and the crash forces usually are not evenly distributed across the front of the vehicle. Consequently, the vehicle speed required to deploy the airbags in a real world crash can be much higher.
    Last edited by Resq14; 12-23-2002 at 04:39 AM.

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    Some specifics about FORD's, at least early 90's models when I worked at a FORD dealer:
    There are as many as 5 sensors in the front end. Usually, three near the front bumper and two near the firewall. There are a lot like a tube with a steel ball in them with a contact point in the front on the tube.

    Deceleration, in the range that Resq14 specified, will release the ball and make contact. One sensor in the front and one at the firewall need to make contact for the airbags to go off. Much has changed with airbags in 10 years, but most sensors that dictate firing use this principle.

    All design features to AVOID airbag deployment in a rollover or side collision with no rapid deceleration.
    Dan LaRue
    Lieutenant
    Elkmont Volunteer Fire Dept.

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    And now you have "smart systems"that will regulate how fast the bag inflates and under what parameters.We are starting to see some non incident inflations on the PT cruisers, anyone else running into this please post or E-mail me.T.C,

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    Starting in 94 GM has used a 3 sensor systen to deploy air bags. all 3 sensors are mounted in the front end, and the system requires 2 sensors to be activated to deploy the air bags. Saw this demonstrated at a class where we were allowed to go over the front of a cavalier with a sledge hammer, and no one was able to set the bags off.

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    General Motors Holden (GMH) here in Australia have a 3 point inflation process for their bags to deploy:

    a) Ignition must be on

    b) Car must be travelling a minimum of 40km/h

    c) (Now I can't remember the third one exactly!) But I think a minimum of 2 sensors need to be activated....
    Luke

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    What's really encouraging about the initial post by Adze39 is that he and the Broad Brook FD responders were 'heads-up' enough to realize the bags were still loaded. Good job.

    Teaching point:
    If confronted with a side-resting vehicle, when you open the hood to access the engine compartment, be careful. A hood in that position will spring open quickly and with more force than when gravity is holding it down. If you're standing beside it when the hood release pops and you aren't ready, it can knock you down!
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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