Can You Drive A Car With Airbags Deployed? (Should You Do It?)

If you get into an accident or a collision, your airbags are likely to deploy immediately to protect you and other car occupants from injuries.

Therefore, when this happens, you might be wondering whether you should drive with your airbags deployed. If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

Can You Drive A Car With Airbags Deployed?

Once your airbags deploy, your car is still driveable as long as every other part is working mechanically and electronically. There are no federal laws specifying that you can’t drive after the airbags have deployed, though laws vary from state to state. In some modern cars, the engine shuts down after airbags deploy.

To learn more about what you should do after your airbags deploy and whether it’s legal to continue driving, keep reading for more useful facts and tips!

Should You Drive After Airbags Deploy?

Once the airbags deploy, most drivers can have a traumatic experience. But can you and should you drive after this?

If your car is still working well electronically and mechanically and the car is driveable and safe, you can drive until you get to an auto shop.

However, you need to consider your safety first before driving with deployed airbags. If you get into another accident, your airbags will not protect you because they have already been deployed.

In addition, it might not be legal in some states, so you need to confirm first whether it’s allowed in your location before driving.

You also need to ensure that the airbags have fully deflated. These safety features should deflate by themselves, but you can use a sharp object to flatten them if they don’t. This way, you can see the road when driving.

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Is It Safe To Drive With Deployed Airbags?

Is It Safe To Drive With Deployed Airbags?

Safety depends on your level of comfort; If the car is still running and you’re in a good mental space to drive, you can get away from the busy road to an auto shop.

Before driving, you should consider how far you need to drive to a gas station or repair shop, which is important because you don’t have airbag protection. If it’s quite far, have the car towed instead.

What Should You Do Before Driving With Deployed Airbags?

After a collision, what should you do after the airbags deploy? Here are some of the things you can do.

1. Check For Injuries

If you’re conscious, check and confirm that all the other passengers are not injured. Seek medical attention for the injured ones before checking your vehicle.

2. Check Your Car

Safety is quite essential on the road; therefore, once you get into your crash, you need to confirm whether the car is driveable before proceeding.

You should confirm that the engine is running smoothly and that you can brake, steer and accelerate normally. However, if these functions are down, you shouldn’t proceed.

3. Deflate The Airbags

After a crash, the airbags will deflate automatically. However, if yours don’t deflate, you can pop them with a sharp object and drive to a safe space or auto shop.

4. Call Emergency Services

Even when the car is driveable, it’s not advisable to proceed with deployed airbags. However, if you have an injured passenger that you need to take to the hospital, you can call 911 for proper instructions on how to proceed.

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5. Call Your Insurance Company

If you have signed up for a towing service with your insurance company, you can call them for rescue. In addition, they might need to be involved if you have any other car damages from the accident.

A towing service comes in handy, especially if your engine has locked after the airbags are deployed.

6. Drive Slowly To A Gas Station

If your engine is still running, you can drive to a safe area or a gas station to replace your airbags.

You need to drive slowly to avoid further accidents because the airbags won’t protect you the second time.

Is It Illegal To Drive With Deployed Airbags?

Is It Illegal To Drive With Deployed Airbags?

There are no specific federal laws that state that you shouldn’t drive after the airbags deploy. However, these laws may be different from state to state.

Before driving, check your DMV laws to avoid getting into trouble with the law. In some newer models, the engine goes off, and you can’t drive with the deployed airbags.

Therefore, even though it’s not illegal, you should use your judgment to determine whether the car is in good enough condition to move.

How Expensive Is Airbag Replacement?

After the airbags have deployed, you must replace them to boost your safety on the road. While the exact replacement varies, you should spend about $1,000 to $1,500 each.

Your insurance company might cover the replacement costs depending on the value of your car, how many airbags need to be replaced and whether the accident was your fault.

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Airbag replacement is costly because it involves a lot of work. Your mechanic has to replace the control modules, the seatbelt buckles and inspect the electrical wiring.

To know more about airbags, you can also see our posts on how fast do airbags deploy, if airbags work when the car is off, and if airbags can be replaced.


Once your airbags deploy, you can still drive as long as the car functions properly and doesn’t have damage or any leakages. However, if the damage is severe, it’s advisable to contact emergency or towing services.

Legally, there’s no federal regulation that prohibits driving with deployed airbags. However, this will vary from state to state, therefore, you should confirm your local laws.

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