SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Research => Topic started by: hairaplenty on October 01, 2017, 10:01 AM

Title: air bags
Post by: hairaplenty on October 01, 2017, 10:01 AM
I certainly don't wish anyone to be in an accident, but if you were and the airbag popped into play, what was that like?
I have my MC hitting a parked car and the airbag pops open. I have his head twisted to the side and his body pretty much immobilized. Does this sound right?
Title: Re: air bags
Post by: BeccaB on October 01, 2017, 05:06 PM
Do you mean immobilized after the crash because the car was so bent out of shape?  Otherwise, while a crash is actually happening, there is a LOT of movement by the driver and passengers. (even people wearing seat belts.   People not wearing belts are quite literally thrown all over the car.  Alway buckle up!!!)

Try taking a look at the videos on youtube from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  Their videos are with crash dummies (of course!), but it's a fairly good visualization of what happens in real crashes.
Title: Re: air bags
Post by: hairaplenty on October 01, 2017, 08:48 PM
That's a wonderful idea. Thank you!   :badidea
Title: Re: air bags
Post by: marla-lesage on October 02, 2017, 07:40 AM
We hit a deer & the airbags popped. It sounded like a gun shot but I didn't realized it was the airbags at first - I thought it was the sound of the deer hitting the vehicle). It was a bit smokey (think of the smell after shooting a cap gun). The driver's ears were ringing & he had trouble hearing initially - I didn't really notice this effect myself. The whole situation was quite shocking. I was sitting in the front passenger seat & saw the deer coming out of the ditch.  The airbag scraped the skin off of the backs of my fingers/hands - similar to a skinned knee. They were a bit bloody & painful but I didn't notice them until later (maybe an hour or so later?). I didn't see the airbag pop or come at me, I only saw them deflating after the vehicle came to a full stop & we were starting to unbuckle/get out of the vehicle.  I do remember watching the deer - I swear we made eye contact - and trying to warn the driver although there was no way to avoid it.
** editing to add - I guess I did see the airbag pop - I thought it was the deer coming through the window at me! In the dark it just looked like this big grayish shape & I had no idea it was the airbag or that they'd gone off.**

In another incident, I was in a car that hit a street light in a parking lot (heavy rain at night). Very low speed so the air bags didn't go off. Again I was shocked so didn't remember if I had my seatbelt on - later I developed a bruise on my collarbone so I definitely was buckled. My friend was trying buckle-up when we hit so she actually cracked the windsheild quite badly with her head (we were teens & her mother was driving). You don't really get immobilized but you do have the sensation of moving forward in your seat - inertia! I didn't notice that in the other crash but I saw that one coming so maybe I was thinking of other things? I don't remember even noticing my body.

I was in another accident - motorcycle so no airbags. I drove into my neighbours parked car. I saw the car & could not look away, hit the throttle instead of the brakes. I remember thinking OMG I'm going to hit the car and despite desperately not wanting to, I was unable to tear my eyes away & turn, like I was frozen with fear. (This is a thing with motorcycles - Big Eyes - you go where you look, so if you can't look away - crash!).  I remember quite clearly the bang, flying through the air over the hood of the car & landing with a thud on the sidewalk on my backside. I really did seem like a slow-motion experience & almost out-of-body. At the time, this was extremely embarrassing, I did go to the hospital just to be sure I wasn't injured but I didn't tell anyone about it - I even worked a 12 hour shift the next day (nurse). Now I can tell the story with humor!  :embarrassed2

I hope this helps!
Title: Re: air bags
Post by: hairaplenty on October 02, 2017, 07:36 PM
Gosh! Glad everyone is okay. I've dodged a few deer in my time and I've heard the impact is quite intense.
Thank you for your very accurate, detailed account. I'm going to use it in my book. Particularly sound and smokey vision.     :goodpost