Airbags save lives, with over 20,000 drivers and passengers already protected as of 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As the NHTSA points out, airbag injuries are getting fewer every year, with newer cars and trucks having the best safety records, but a significant number of injuries and deaths are caused by airbags that are faulty and do not deploy when needed. There are several ways you can test your airbags to ensure they are working properly.
1.Start your car. Look at the supplemental restraint system light, usually marked “SRL” on your car’s dashboard. The light should come on and stay lit for a few seconds before turning off. If the light does not turn on, or stays on after the initial test, your airbag might be defective.
2.Look at the cover on each of the airbags in your vehicle. Original, factory installed covers are often marked “SRS” or “S/L.” An airbag cover without this mark may have been replaced and could have problems.
3.Look at the car history report for your vehicle. These reports are available through dealers or online companies, and provide information about your car. Not all potential airbag issues are revealed on this report, but you may find out whether the car has been rebuilt or has been in an accident.
4.Bring your car to a trustworthy mechanic to perform an electronic test on the airbag system. The mechanic has access to tools that assess each part of the airbag system and that provide a more certain diagnosis of how well the airbag system will work in a crash.