# How does a airbag work physics?

## How does a airbag work physics?

It follows Newton’s second law: its momentum continues until an outside force (usually the steering wheel, dash board or windshield) brings it to a stop. An airbag doesn’t just soften the blow. That’s why airbags inflate and then quickly deflate—to gradually bring the driver’s momentum from 60 mph to zero.

How do airbags work chemistry?

The answer would be found in a fascinating chemical called sodium azide, NaN3. When this substance is ignited by a spark it releases nitrogen gas which can instantly inflate an airbag. An airbag is designed to release some of the gas just after it deploys to help cushion the impact against the body.

### How do airbags keep you safe physics?

Air bags. Air bags increase the time taken for the head’s momentum to reach zero, and so reduce the forces on it. They also act a soft cushion and prevent cuts.

How does Newton’s second law apply to airbags?

Newton’s Second Law tells us that force is equal to the rate of change of momentum. In a car accident, the driver of the vehicle will typically go from moving at around 20m/s to 0m/s in the space of less than a second.

## How do airbags work momentum?

Air bags in cars are designed with impulse, or momentum change principles. When a driver gets into an accident their momentum carries them forward into the steering wheel. By putting an airbag in the car, a smaller force is exerted over a longer period of time to change the momentum of the driver to a stop.

How does oversteer happen?

Oversteer normally occurs on cars that drive the rear wheels and happens when the car is turning and the driver applies more power than the tyres can deal with. This makes the tyres slip and try to push in the opposite direction to the turn, kicking the back end of the car out.

### Why are airbags important physics?

Air bags are used in automobiles because they are able to minimize the effect of the force on an object involved in a collision. Air bags accomplish this by extending the time required to stop the momentum of the driver and passenger.

Can an airbag break your neck?

The accompanying force of airbag deployment striking ones face and head have been known to cause head and neck trauma as a direct result of an airbag malfunction. Injured passengers have also reported eye injuries, facial abrasions, broken jaws, broken necks, and some of these injuries have been fatal.

## At what speed are airbags useless?

Frontal air bags are generally designed to deploy in “moderate to severe” frontal or near-frontal crashes, which are defined as crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 to 14 mph or higher. (This would be equivalent to striking a parked car of similar size at about 16 to 28 mph or higher.)

Who invented airbags?

Peter Florjančič
Airbag/Inventors

### How does Newton’s third law relate to airbags?

Newton’s third law is the basis of the collision detector which sets off the airbag. When the car is hit by another vehicle (action), a tiny mass in the detector compresses a spring in the process (reaction). The spring deformation is detected and used to trigger the airbag in milliseconds.

How does Newton’s first law relate to airbags?

Newton’s first law applies to air bags, seat belts, and headrests in terms of keeping your body at rest while you are driving, which in turn will keep you safe. So, with the headrest, seatbelt, and airbag, they are all designed to slow down the forward motion of your body in a car.