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Additional Details
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How fast do i need to be going for my airbags to deploy?
2002 Nissan Sentra GXE

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A car can be sitting still at a stop light. If another vehicle impacts it in the right location, the airbag will deploy. The sensors are computer controlled to sense impact, not speed.

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fast enough to blow your head off...

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You don't need to go very fast, but you need to crash head-on
with another car or onto some wall or tree at 30 -50kmph to
deploy the airbags which works effectively on impact.
I was told by those who has experienced it that they sustained
minor cuts or bruises to their faces and arms when the airbags
are fully activated during the head-on accident.
As a result, they are saved from fatal injury.

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only 1 mph, once your sensor is activated it will deploy

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George K
12 miles per hour

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most airbags deploy if ya have a collison around 30-35 mph from what a mechanice had told me

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Gerry M
Any time I am in the car. My airbag is always deployed. That wife of mine cannot shut up!

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My boss had a head-on in a new Dodge pickup 2 years ago. Collision was so bad it cracked the engine block! No air bag deployment at all. He's rich now.

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Most airbags will deploy at 33 miles per hour.
You can set then off buy removeing them from the wheel and installing them wrong.

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Dan S
8 to 14 miles per hour in 0.015 seconds
It doesn't matter which car you drive the standards, given above, are required for all cars sold in the US.

According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_bag#Triggering_conditions
"Air bags are typically designed to deploy in frontal and near-frontal collisions, which are comparable to hitting a solid barrier at approximately 8 to 14 miles per hour (mi/h) (13 to 23 km/h). Roughly speaking, a 14 mi/h (23 km/h) barrier collision is equivalent to striking a parked car of similar size across the full front of each vehicle at about 28 mi/h (45 km/h). This is because the parked car absorbs some of the energy of the crash, and is pushed by the striking vehicle.

Because air bag sensors measure deceleration, vehicle speed and damage are not good indicators of whether an air bag should have deployed. Occasionally, air bags can deploy due to the vehicle's undercarriage violently striking a low object protruding above the roadway surface. Despite the lack of visible front-end damage, high deceleration forces may occur in this type of crash, resulting in the deployment of the air bag.

Most air bags are designed to automatically deploy in the event of a vehicle fire when temperatures reach 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (150 to 200 °C). This safety feature helps to ensure that such temperatures do not cause an explosion of the inflator unit within the air bag module.

Today, airbag triggering algorithms are becoming much more complex. They try to reduce useless deployments (for example, at low speed, no shocks should trigger the airbag to help reduce damage to the car interior in conditions where the seat belt would be an adequate safety device) and to adapt the deployment speed to the crash conditions. The algorithms are considered as very valuable intellectual property. Experimental algorithms may take into account such factors as the weight of the occupant, the seat location, seatbelt use, and even attempt to determine if a baby seat is present.

From the onset of the crash, the entire deployment and inflation process is faster than the blink of an eye. Airbags deploy in 15 milliseconds (0.015 seconds) for high speed crashes and in 25 milliseconds for low speed crashes (0.025 seconds). Because a vehicle changes speed so fast in a crash, air bags must inflate rapidly if they are to help reduce the risk of the occupant hitting the vehicle's interior."

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