Understanding How the Airbag in Your Car Works: Our Guide

The airbag is one of the most critical elements in your vehicle because your life depends on it. When an unfortunate car accident happens, your vehicle’s airbag being deployed can significantly save your life, so you should ensure that your airbag is properly working and maintained. 

To know if it’s properly working, you must learn about how it works first. This way, you can assess your airbag correctly and make the necessary repairs. In this article, we will discuss how airbags work to know if yours is in good working condition and if it can save your life. 

Let’s get to it! 

How Do Airbags Work? 

While there are some cases wherein airbags cause minor injuries to some drivers, it can still prevent drivers from experiencing the worst from the accident because it can reduce the damage to the body at impact. 

Once the vehicle is hit from the bumper, rear bumpers, or side doors, the airbags will automatically be deployed, protecting drivers from the tremendous impact coming from the hit. There are sensors placed in each of these areas of the vehicle. Once the sensor detects a significant impact, it will send a message to the car’s internal computer to deploy the airbags.

What Does it Mean When the Airbag Light Comes On? 

If you’re wondering why the airbag light is on, there is probably something wrong with the system. There are many possible reasons why the airbag light is on in the car, but one thing is for sure, if your airbag light is on, it will not deploy in the event of a crash, thereby risking your life. So, make sure to take your vehicle to a qualified automotive technician as soon as possible to have your airbags repaired.

What Can Cause the Airbag Light to Come On? 

As mentioned, there are many possible reasons why the airbag light comes on in your vehicle, and here are some of the most common causes: 

  • Seat Belt System Issue – Something may be interfering with the seat belt sensor. Make sure to check any elements like dust, debris, or other things that may have fallen into the buckle that made your airbag light come on. 
  • Damaged Clock Spring – The spiral-wound electrical sensor may be damaged.
  • Minor Accident – There may be a minor collision that triggered the car’s crash sensors but did not warrant deployment of the airbag. 

What Are the Things You Should Take Note to Ensure Airbag Safety?

While an airbag can save an adult’s life, it may also cause minor damage and injuries, especially to kids. To ensure that your vehicle’s airbag will be safe for you, your passenger, and your children, here are the things you should take note of: 

  • Make sure children ride in the backseat with seatbelts fastened and seats adjusted to a safe position.
  • Drivers and passengers should be seated properly, facing forward with backs against the seat.
  • All vehicle occupants should wear their seat belts correctly at all times. 
  • Passengers should avoid sitting too close to the area where passengers are deployed.
  • Drivers should move their seats back as far as possible to increase the distance from the airbags. Hands should be at the “10 and 2” positions on the steering wheel. 


Airbags can significantly save your life. But, they can only protect you if they are working properly and you are in a safe sitting position. So, make sure to address if your airbag light is on because that is one of your primary indicators that it will not function properly if an accident happens. 

If you are looking for airbag repair or reset services, you’ve come to the right place! Safety Restore is the world’s leader in post-accident restorations specializing in seat belt repairs, airbag module reset, and more. Contact us to learn how we can help you!

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