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Virtual Dissecting of Airbags

Written by maryp posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

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Have you thought about your airbag,(s) lately?

There is a frontal impact recognition sensor that begins to sense that, something is happening, by measuring deceleration of G’s. The angle of the impact is also being mathematically calculated by another unit, because, (an impact of a certain angle will deploy the airbags). All of this takes place in what, a millisecond or less?

So, in less than the blink of an eye, all of the above, (and much, much more) is going on. Your driving speed is being calculated. Your seat belt tension is also being measured, (so that your seat belt will pull you in to optimum position). In the newer technology, you may have both airbags and seat belts that have a 2 stage type of action in case of the frontal crash, which is typical with the “Advanced Airbags”. So the system is even trying to determine how severe the situation is, and whether or not to deploy the next stage. Pretty amazing technology.

The “Advanced Airbags”, were mandated in new vehicles after September 2003. NHTSA wanted specific conclusions to be determined by the vehicles recognition systems. For example, whether or not a seat is empty, a package, (or small child), a child seat that is properly installed, a small adult is in the seat, or a full size adult.

There is so much going on here, (several different technologies and components), and in a time frame that is difficult for a human to comprehend. (Just like stuff on the Science Channel)!

It is critical to be familiar with the type of airbags that may be in your vehicle by reading your manual or calling BMW. All major manufacturers’ 800 numbers are listed on the NHSTA website. (You may already have noticed whether or not the yellow Caution sticker on the visor uses the word “Advanced”).

It is imperative to know all of the issues and recommendations by your manufacturer, (and laws), when it comes to any children, small people or disabled people, that may be riding in your BMW in regards to the airbags, (with both frontal and side airbags). You need to be knowledgeable about this very important issue and it is your responsibility.

Remember that your airbags are designed to work in conjunction with your seat belts. Always wear your seat belts! (No excuses)

So, any indication that your Airbag System, known as the SRS (Supplemental Restraining System) is not operating properly, should be checked out by a qualified BMW professional now. And just one more note: If an airbag is deployed by a crash, (or any situation), it cannot be re-used! This goes for either the frontal, passenger or side airbags.

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