Many consumers have quite a few safety misconceptions about cars, specifically regarding airbags, car seats, and tires. Design defects in these products can leave drivers and passengers vulnerable to injuries and accidents caused by defective airbags, seat back collapses, and tire tread separations.
Vehicle Misconception #1: Airbags Cannot Injure You
A common misconception among consumers is that airbags are soft, pillowy devices that will protect them in the case of a car crash. While airbags do protect you in the event of a crash, they also deploy at 200 miles per hour directly towards your face, chest, or the side of your head.
While this speed may be necessary to protect occupants in an accident (depending on the particular crash circumstances and dynamics), when airbags deploy unexpectedly, they can cause a loss of control leading to a crash. You may end up hitting an object or another car and injuring yourself, your passengers, or other drivers.
Defective airbags can also deploy with too much force, causing you to suffer burns or even rupturing the metal inflator housing and ejecting metal fragments into the cabin. This can happen even during a low-speed car crash that normally would not cause any severe injuries.
The massive Takata airbag recall is one example of a defective airbag that has impacted consumers across the United States.
Vehicle Misconception #2: Your Car Seat Will Always Stay Upright in a Collision
When a car rear-ends your vehicle at a moderate speed, you may expect to walk away unharmed if you were wearing your seatbelt. And this should be the case. But if your car seat was poorly constructed, you may experience serious injuries due to a seat back collapse.
If you were to take your car seat apart, you may find that it looks similar to a lawn chair.
These seats may just barely meet the absolute minimum safety standards required by law. Many consumers have no idea that their car seats are vulnerable to collapse during a rear-end collision.
If your seat back breaks, your neck and back may fall backwards abruptly and with great force. This can cause serious spinal cord injuries and even paralysis. Even worse, your head could strike and kill a child sitting in the back seat.
Vehicle Misconception #3: Tread Separations Only Occur on Noticeably Worn Tires
While many people are diligent about checking their tires’ tread and pressure, and getting tires replaced that are noticeably worn, many vehicle owners do not realize that tires have a shelf life. Tires that have aged beyond a certain date may have a higher risk of tread separation, even if they look fine. (Read our post about determining the age of your tires.)
Manufacturer defects, such as insufficient tire bonding and other problems, can also contribute to a tread separation.
When a tread separation occurs at high speeds, it can be a terrifying experience for a driver and their passengers. Even if you were driving safely and following every traffic law, you may be unable to maintain control of your vehicle and could end up in a serious car crash.
Product Liability Cases: How Injured Consumers Can Get Justice for Their Injuries
When a product defect in a vehicle causes serious injury or death, a product liability lawsuit may be the victim’s only option for receiving compensation for their injuries. It is usually a lengthy and complex process to pursue compensation from a manufacturer, but injured victims do not need to handle it alone. A product liability attorney can help them handle their case and recover the compensation they need to move on with their lives.
If a defective product in your vehicle caused you to suffer injuries, preserve all of the evidence relating to your incident. If your vehicle is destroyed, you may lose critical evidence for your case.
You have a limited time to bring a product liability lawsuit. There are state laws that could prevent you from filing a lawsuit if you wait too long, so do not hesitate to talk to an attorney about your case.
Learn More About Your Legal Rights for Seeking Compensation
Defective products can cause severe injury or death to unknowing drivers. When this happens, you should know what your legal options are for pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Call Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977 to schedule your free consultation with a product defect attorney. We regularly handle complex civil litigation cases and can give you answers to your legal questions after a product defect has caused you serious harm.