The front SRS airbags inflate in a moderate-to-severe frontal collision to help protect the head and chest of the driver and/or front passenger.
SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) indicates that the airbags are designed to supplement seat belts, not replace them. Seat belts are the occupant's primary restraint system.
The front airbags are housed in the centre of the steering wheel for the driver, and in the dashboard for the front passenger. Both airbags are marked SRS AIRBAG.
Front airbags are designed to inflate during moderate-to-severe frontal collisions. When the vehicle decelerates suddenly, the sensors send information to the control unit which signals one or both front airbags to inflate.
A frontal collision can be either head-on or angled between two vehicles, or when a vehicle crashes into a stationary object, such as a concrete wall.
- While your seat belt restrains your torso, the front airbag provides supplemental protection for your head and chest.
The front airbags deflate immediately so that they won't interfere with the driver's visibility or the ability to steer or operate other controls.
The total time for inflation and deflation is so fast that most occupants are not aware that the airbags deployed until they see them lying in front of them.
Although the driver's and front passenger's airbags normally inflate within a split second of each other, it is possible for only one airbag to deploy. This can happen if the severity of a collision is at the margin, or threshold that determines whether or not the airbags will deploy. In such cases, the seat belt will provide sufficient protection, and the supplemental protection offered by the airbag would be minimal.
Because the airbag system senses sudden deceleration, a strong impact to the vehicle framework or suspension might cause one or more of the airbags to deploy. Examples include running into a curb, the edge of a hole, or other low fixed object that causes a sudden deceleration in the vehicle chassis. Since the impact is underneath the vehicle, damage may not be readily apparent.
Since crushable body parts absorb crash energy during an impact, the amount of visible damage does not always indicate proper airbag operation. In fact, some collisions can result in severe damage but no airbag deployment because the airbags would not have been needed or would not have provided protection even if they had deployed.
* Not available on all models