Have you ever wondered, “how do airbags work”? It’s actually pretty simple. First the airbag detects that there has been a crash. It does this by crash sensors. There are many different types of crash sensors. Some are placed in the front of the car because it is a common crash zone area. Newer models of crash sensors are installed inside the control module of the airbag. Sensors can also be placed in the doors of cars, but only if they have door airbags(obviously). So, only the sensors that are triggered activate the airbags. This means that if your car is hit from the front, then only the airbags in the steering wheel and dashboard will deploy, not the side air bags. These sensors send a signal that there has been a crash to the control module. The control module is like the “brain” of the airbag. The control module also receives a signal from a sensor inside the car which signals when the car suddenly decreases speed. The air bag needs to receive signals from both the inside and outside sensors to deploy.
When it receives both of these signals, the control module lights the igniter. The igniter is a type of electrical device with a small wire. When it is ignited, the current that flows through the wire causes it to overheat. This in turn lights the Sodium azide ( an extremely fast burning fuel). The burning of Sodium azide produces ample amounts of Nitrogen gas, which fills the bag. After the initial crash the nitrogen in the air bag will escape through tiny holes so that the air bag will go down and the person may step out of the car. Who new that a process so simple could save so many lives in car accidents! Don’t you just love science?