Can a passanger side airgbag break a windshield?...

emandbri

New member
A guy on other board I'm on was in a 4 car finder binder and posted pix of the cars. It looks like the car that started it the passanger wasn't wearing a seat belt and her head hit the windshield but some people think the airbag could have broken it. Looks like ahead to me. What do you guys think? I did get permission to post the pix.
 
ADS

southpawboston

New member
hard to tell for certain... it *kind* of looks like a head hit it, but it really is hard to tell. i believe it is possible for an airbag to break a windshield.
 

scatterbunny

New member
I think it's a head.

Maybe older airbags could break a windshield, but I doubt newer airbags could. My instructors talked a lot about how newer airbags have been depowered compared to older airbags.
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
I also think it was more likely the passenger's head (ouch) judging from the relatively high location of the spider webbing on the windshield. The passenger's injuries would likely reflect whether their head smacked into the windshield (cringing as I type this, yikes).
 

beeman

Active member
I think an airbag could break a windshield, but the point of impact looks to high for that, so I'm guessing a head. People are so stupid about not wearing their seatbelts, especially with airbags, due to the fact that an airbag will do more damage than nothing at all if you're not wearing a seat belt. I love how the hood folded perfectly in half :p .
 

Lys

Senior Community Member
Way before I was into safety, I had a collison exactly like that.
Only exception was, I was driving and not wearing my seat belt.
My head made an identical mark in the windshield, very high up and spidered out just like this photo, I needed 5 stitched in my head and there were long strands of hair that got yanked out dangling from the broken glass. Thank God, I had buckled my son (7mo) in his car seat properly. Who knows what would have happened to him-he was in the passenger FRONT seat RF (no side airbag).
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
It also looks like a head impact to me. I'm sure there have been cases of an airbag breaking a windshield, but that pattern looks very focused whereas it seems like an airbag caused breakage would be more evenly distributed. It might be worth calling your local or county police department and arranging a meeting with a certified crash reconstructionist. They've seen numerous crashes and could probably tell you for certain.
 

Morganthe

New member
From looking at the photo, I agree that it's most likely the head. It's such a centered blast into the glass that I seriously doubt it was the airbag (I hope that makes sense). The passenger airbag IS visible in the photo and it's much a wider rectangle than the impact's round circumference.

My guess is that the passenger was unbuckled, thrown forward, airbag deployed preventing the passenger's head from hitting the windshield even more in the center. Probably stopped the head from a lot harder assault that could have broken through the safety glass. Not a good scenario at all :( If the airbag had managed the deflection a little higher, the impact would have been on the roof which has a bit more padding than glass.

Very sad to see since simply buckling up would have very likely prevented this :(
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
Although an airbag itself is unlikely to break a window, windshields do get broken by them. Most likely from the hunk of plastic it has to blast out of its way to open. On the passenger side, the part of the dash that covers the airbag will be forced out and hit the windshield, while the airbag come out towards you. My dad's airbags went off in an accident and the windshield had to be replaced because of this.
 

southpawboston

New member
Although an airbag itself is unlikely to break a window, windshields do get broken by them. Most likely from the hunk of plastic it has to blast out of its way to open. On the passenger side, the part of the dash that covers the airbag will be forced out and hit the windshield, while the airbag come out towards you. My dad's airbags went off in an accident and the windshield had to be replaced because of this.

that's exactly what i was thinking... that plastic on the passenger's side of the dash is designed to break and then hinge upward toward the windshield, instead of just in any random direction.
 

carseatcrazy

New member
Hi, I've been lurking on this board for a while and thought I'd jump in.
I had an accident a few months ago, and my airbag did break my windshield, but the airbag cover did not detatch from the dash board. I did wonder though, if it was normal for that to happen.

Brandy
tech in canada
 
T

Taylor

Guest
A guy on other board I'm on was in a 4 car finder binder and posted pix of the cars. It looks like the car that started it the passanger wasn't wearing a seat belt and her head hit the windshield but some people think the airbag could have broken it. Looks like ahead to me. What do you guys think? I did get permission to post the pix.
I got in a car accident the other day in a 1999 Jaguar in the passenger airbag deployed in such a way that the wooden panel covering it flung into the inside of the windshield shattering the windshield from the inside out causing glass to explode everywhere. The damage from the thunderbender itself was rather minor to only the front fender and the hood However the damage on the interior was quite extensive from the airbags deploying and the windshield breaking from the inside.
 

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