When choosing a car, safety features are a factor that you must consider, and out of all safety features, airbags are some of the most common and well-known.
Over the years, advanced airbags have become more common. However, the difference between advanced airbags and regular airbags differs quite a bit, and if you’d like to know what those differences are, keep reading for more facts!
What Are Advanced Airbags?
Compared to regular airbags, advanced airbags utilize a lot of extra information when determining when to deploy. For instance, they will collect information on the weight of the passenger and the seating position. Therefore, they are less likely to deploy unnecessarily or improperly, which can cause injuries. In other words, they’re simply safer than regular airbags.
However, exactly how advanced airbags function is a bit complicated, so keep reading below to discover everything I found out about this topic!
What’s the Difference Between Advanced and Regular Airbags?
Advanced frontal airbags only deploy in certain situations and may deploy differently for different people. In this way, they prevent quite a few injuries caused by the airbag itself.
For instance, advanced airbags do not deploy during minor accidents, while normal airbags might. These airbags may also cause injuries when there might not have been any in a minor accident.
The factors advanced airbags take into account vary. For instance, the airbag unit may collect information on the passenger’s weight, seat position, seat belt use, and crash severity.
In many cases, all of these factors can determine whether or not an airbag may do more harm than good. While a regular airbag will deploy no matter what, an advanced airbag may not deploy if it detects a smaller passenger or improper seated position.
Similarly, advanced airbags may deploy sooner if a seat belt is not used. Without seat belt use, minor accidents can be more dangerous. Normally, a regular airbag may not deploy during these situations, as it can’t tell if you’re wearing a seatbelt or not.
However, an advanced airbag can detect this, and therefore may deploy sooner if the situation calls for it.
Usually, advanced airbags only deploy during situations where frontal protection is actually useful. For instance, in a side-crash, they may not even deploy since they wouldn’t provide many benefits.
Generally speaking, advanced airbags only deploy when they’re needed, which lowers the odds of getting injured by the airbag itself.
What Are the Different Types of Airbags?
On top of regular and advanced airbags, there are other types of airbags as well. For the most part, airbags are named based on their location.
Frontal airbags are what most people think of when they think of airbags. These airbags are installed in the front of the car, as their name suggests. In the case of a crash, they can protect the driver and passenger from frontal forces.
Due to laws and regulations, these airbags are placed in every vehicle.
Side airbags are also quite common. While cars don’t have to have side airbags, they do have to meet certain safety requirements. In most cases, installing side airbags is the easiest way for this to be achieved.
As you might guess, these airbags protect you from side impacts. They’re often put all around the car, so they protect passengers in the back of the car as well.
While they aren’t very common yet, knee airbags are becoming more and more popular, as they prevent the driver’s knees from pressing against the area underneath the steering wheel.
Their effectiveness has yet to be tested, though they may prevent the driver from scooting forward, further preventing injuries.
Besides knee airbags, another increasingly common airbag is built directly into the seat belt. For the most part, these are designed to protect passengers that may be more prone to neck and head injuries, such as young children. Therefore, they are often placed in the back of cars.
What is the Difference Between an SRS Airbag and a Regular Airbag?
Generally speaking, there is not a significant difference between these two types of airbags. However, SRS airbags will be labeled in the car as “SRS.” You may find their logo printed on the airbag locations.
The term “SRS” stands for “supplemental restraint system.” As you might guess, this term can really be used to refer to practically any airbag out there, including those that aren’t labeled as such.
Even if an airbag isn’t labeled SRS, it still functions almost identically to an SRS airbag (if not completely identically.)
For the most part, the SRS label is only placed on airbags to point out that they are supplemental. In other words, they are not meant to replace seat belts. Usually, the SRS label is there to prevent lawsuits in the event that a driver tries to sue the car company over injuries.
While most people don’t assume that airbags replace seat belts today, that wasn’t the case when seat belts first came out – hence why companies felt the need to use the SRS label.
Today, the label has simply been continuously used. It may not be needed as much as it once was, but you’ll still find it on many different cars.
Will Airbags Deploy Without a Seatbelt?
Regular airbags don’t take into account whether or not you’re wearing a seatbelt, so they will always deploy. However, advanced airbags may get information about seatbelt use, which can help them deploy safer.
For instance, advanced airbags may deploy sooner if you aren’t wearing your seatbelt since you’re automatically more at risk during an accident. However, all airbags will still deploy if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, though exactly when they deploy will still vary.
To know more, you can also read our posts on how many airbags are in a car, if you can sell used airbags, what airbag clock springs do, and how long do airbags last.
Simply put, advanced airbags take into account a lot of factors when deciding whether or not to deploy. Conversely, regular airbags don’t have access to any of this information and simply deploy when they sense a crash.
If you’re looking for the safest option, it is going to be the advanced airbags every time. You’re much less likely to get injured by an advanced airbag, as they will only deploy when they are really needed.