Is It Possible for You to Drive a Car with Deployed Airbags?

Airbags are car tools that protect drivers and passengers from significant injuries during road accidents. They deploy upon impact, preventing everyone inside from being launched from inside the vehicle and suffering more serious physical harm.

But once the accident has passed and there are no signs of harm, Is it possible for you to drive a car with deployed airbags without an immediate airbag module reset?

Let’s answer that question today!

Can You?

Yes, you can, and no, you can’t.

Here’s why:

Most modern cars will shut off automatically if the airbags deploy. This adds protection to drivers and their passengers in a collision. As such, you’ll need an airbag module reset.

However, the engine may not shut off in older models once the airbags deploy, and the driver is left vulnerable to collisions. At the same time, they drive with a deployed airbag covering their windshield. 

Unless the vehicle has been turned off earlier, the engine should shut down when an airbag is deployed. It can be dangerous to drive a car with an active airbag covering the windshield because of airbag deployment. You can remove or tear out the airbag to reduce this risk.

You could be putting your and your passengers’ safety at risk if you drive a damaged car (with deployed airbags) during a collision. Even if your tail lights are broken, it’s dangerous to go at night as other drivers might think your vehicle is damaged as well. You’re also more likely to be pulled over by the police when driving with broken tail lights, headlights, or fenders.

Some Necessary Precautions after Airbag Deployment

Airbags activate when sensors in a deployed car are triggered. If the sensors need repairing or an airbag module reset needs to be performed, you should not drive your vehicle safely until this is done. If you drive a car with malfunctioned airbags during an accident, you and your passengers could be severely injured or even killed.


  • Always prioritize getting an airbag module reset once they deploy. It could save lives.
  • Similarly, an SRS or airbag warning light on most modern cars tells you if the vehicle’s airbags have been damaged or deployed. If this light is on, do not start your vehicle. Instead, seek out an auto mechanic to repair your airbags.
  • Similarly, if there is smoke pouring out of the vents near your car’s side-view mirrors or behind your steering wheel, it indicates that your airbags have deployed. Again, do not start your vehicle until it has been fixed.
  • In rare cases, we advise driving a car with malfunctioning airbags during an emergency. For example, if someone in the passenger seat is injured and needs to go to a hospital quickly, drive slowly to the destination and call 911 for instructions on safe driving.
  • Be careful about taking other passengers to the hospital for minor injuries—when you pick them up from their home or another location and move them to a medical facility, you are responsible for them and for whatever damage happens during these trips.
  • If a collision occurs in the middle of traffic, you need to drive your vehicle to the side of the road, away from traffic, to avoid causing further accidents and heavier traffic.

Don’t Let the Next Drive Be Your Last

Despite it being perfectly legal to drive a vehicle with no airbags, that risks causing an accident with severe physical trauma. Seatbelts, together with airbags, reduce the risk of severe head injuries at 85 percent, compared to 60 percent if you are wearing only a seatbelt. While it is possible to drive with deployed airbags, don’t do it. Protect the lives of your passengers and other motorists instead.

For a handy airbag module reset, schedule a visit to Safety Restore right now! We are the world’s leader in post-accident restorations specializing in seat belt repairs, airbag modules, webbing replacements, and instrument cluster repairs. Reset your module now, or contact us first to know more about our services!

Comments (2)

    1. Good morning Christopher! Most likely than not, your Seat Belt(s) have been blown, and will require repairs! Due to the fact that your vehicle was in an accident (although minor), you may also need your SRS Airbag Module reset as well. Send those in & well have our technicians take care of those for you!

      If you’d like to speak with our team (phone, text, or email), reach out & we’ll further assist you there!

      Phone: 855.552.7233
      Text: 413.564.1242

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