airbag light

Is It Safe to Drive with the Airbag Light On?

Imagine that you’re on your way to an out-of-town trip with your family when you suddenly notice an unfamiliar flashing of light in the instrument cluster. It looks like a stick figure with a seat belt on it with the letters SRS under it. You check in the rearview window and see everyone’s buckled up safely. You don’t feel anything wrong with the engine either, so what could this problem be? Should you continue driving or stop and call a mechanic?

You’re certain that it’s the airbag light that’s on. Now the question is, What does it mean when the airbag light is on? And more importantly, is it safe to continue driving when it’s on? Read on to find out the answers to these questions:

What Does an SRS Warning Light Mean?

Supplemental Restraint System or SRS is what controls the car’s airbags. This is created to supplement the car’s seat belts and serve as an additional layer of safety. Depending on the model of the vehicle you drive, the complexity of the safety system can vary. 

Most cars manufactured before 2014 have six airbags. Those that were made after that year can have up to ten or even more airbags!

SRS systems come with sensors that are found throughout the vehicle and are programmed so that they can determine if there’s any dramatic vehicle deceleration that can signify a collision.  The sensors detect that sudden impact and automatically send a charge to the airbags so they’ll immediately inflate.

Is It Safe to Continue Driving When the SRS Light Is On?

You should never ignore an airbag light or SRS warning light. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that the car is compromised, it means that your safety and that of your passengers are at risk should you get into an accident because your safety system isn’t at 100% working condition. Worst-case scenario, the airbags are disabled, and they won’t inflate in a collision. 

So, the question – is it safe to continue driving with the SRS light on? No, it isn’t. No one knows when an accident would happen but should it indeed happen, you want to be 100% sure that you’ll get protected by the airbags. If there’s even the slightest chance that the airbags won’t deploy, that’s too big a risk to take. It’s a matter of life and death, after all. 

So, What Do You Need to Do?

The best thing for you to do is to have a professional check it immediately to determine the issue and repair it at once. If possible, take the car to the nearest auto repair shop and don’t use the car while the problem is not yet addressed. 

Remember that an SRS system needs checking whether or not your car has been in an accident. According to car manufacturers, the airbags have to be inspected at least once or twice in 10 years. This is because the restraint system is made up of wires and sensors that could get worn down over the years. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace the system, it’s still important that you get it inspected to ensure that everything is working correctly. 


An airbag light on in a car is no reason for you to panic, but you shouldn’t ignore it either. You have to be aware of the risks and what you should do in case it happens. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle has previously been in an accident or not; you should have it checked when you see the SRS light on.

Safety Restore can diagnose the issue behind an airbag light on in a car and do an airbag module reset if necessary. We are an established post-accident restoration company that offers our expert services nationwide. Contact us to know more about our services!

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