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applextrent
How fast do you have to be going to set off an airbag in an accident?
I have a 1998 Honda Civic DX hatchback that I was just in an accident in. I believe I was traveling somewhere around 25mph when the accident occurred and my airbags went off. The front of my car is pretty smashed in, and the car is probably totaled, etc. My paranoid Mother claims you have to be going much faster than 25-mph to set off your airbags, but I'm 98% sure that is wrong. Anyone know more?



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gapsusie
Rating
15mph

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YES
Rating
Well, it is not really about speed. Your car could be not moving at all, if you were struck by another car. It is the force of impact that set off the air bags.
Is your Mother "paranoid" because of your past history?
It will be difficult to PROVE one way or the other?
During my career in auto collision repair, I have witnessed air bags deploy with just a slight bump at parking lot speeds.

You received no injury, I would be grateful.

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Theatreman1
This depends on what speed you are doing. How good the airbag sensors are. What you hit. How much weight is in the car. If there are any faults with the airbag system. No one can answer this presicely.

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Richard B
It's the collision which triggers the airbags, so even travelling super slowly and crashing the airbags could be triggered. It's a very good thing to have airbags.

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margarita
Rating
It's not the speed that sets them off it's the impact. Be thankful that you have/had them. Hopefully you also had full coverage on your car. I was in a similar situation doing about 30 mph when someone hit me at an intersection (he did not see the two stop signs on his one way street and I had the right of way as I was coming off a ramp). He hit my front end on the driver's side. Both airbags deployed and both windows shattered. The car was written off as "totaled" because replacing the airbags would have cost $1,200 each. That did not even include the damage to my windows and front end. I had a 1999 Dodge Neon

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UCANTCME
Airbags are designed to deploy only when they might be needed to prevent serious injury. In order for airbags to be effective they must deploy early in a crash; in a frontal crash this typically occurs within the first 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds).

A vehicle's airbag control module relies on feedback from crash sensors to predict whether an event is severe enough to warrant an airbag deployment.

Frontal airbags: Frontal airbags are designed to inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes.

Some manufacturers use different inflation thresholds depending on whether people are using their safety belts.

One threshold used by airbag designers is "must deploy" which includes a situation such as an impact into a rigid wall of 10-12 mph for unbelted occupants.

The "must deploy" threshold is slightly higher — about 16 mph — for belted occupants because the belts alone are likely to provide adequate protection up to these moderate speeds.

Frontal airbags may deploy to help protect occupants in side impacts if there is sufficient forward deceleration during the crash.

For example, if a vehicle is moving forward at the time of a side impact, frontal airbags can help prevent serious injuries.

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