Is It Legal To Drive A Car After Airbags Deploy?

If you’ve been in a car accident, you know that airbags deploy with a lot of force. And while they’re designed to save lives, they can also cause serious injuries if they deploy while you’re driving.

So, what happens if your airbags deploy while you’re on the road? Can you still drive the car? Is it illegal to drive a car after airbags deploy? Let’s find out.

What You Need to know if Airbags Deploy

Let’s first clarify what you need to know about a deployed airbag before we see if it’s legal to drive with one.

As we all know, an airbag is a safety device in a vehicle that is designed to deploy in the event of a collision or other impact. Airbags are typically located in the steering wheel, dashboard, and seats, and they work by deploying when sensors detect an impact.

When a car is in a crash, the deployment of the airbag is what saves lives. The bag itself is made of two pieces of fabric, which are sewn together and filled with gas.

The entire system is activated by an electronic sensor that can tell when there’s been a collision and how severe it is. The sensor sets off a small explosion, which ignites the gas and causes the airbag to inflate in a fraction of a second.

While airbags have been proven to be life-saving devices, there are some dangers associated with them as well. If an airbag deploys while someone is in close proximity to it, the force of the inflation can cause serious injuries.

Additionally, airbags can deploy unexpectedly if there’s a problem with the sensor or other parts of the system.

Read also: Types of Airbags

Is It Legal to Drive a Car After Airbags Deploy?

Now that we’ve gone over how airbags work and some of the potential dangers associated with them, let’s answer the question: is it legal to drive with deployed airbags?

The answer to this question is yes. There is no provision in the law that you are not permitted to drive a car if the airbags have deployed. Although state laws may vary, it’s always a good idea to check the DMV’s website to see whether there are any limitations on this in your state.

It will be legal to drive a vehicle that is in a drivable state if you still have access to the controls and it’s possible to travel it. Installing an inflatable restraint requires that you test it out and make sure the deployed airbags have fully deflated before getting behind the wheel.

However, a deployed airbag will take some time to deflate on its own. A knife, needle, or other pointed objects may speed up the deflation process.

Is It Safe to Drive a Vehicle with Airbag Deployed?

The next point we’ll address is whether it is safe to drive with deployed airbags.

In most circumstances, airbags are deployed in a collision, which can be a distressing and traumatic event. You’ll need to make sure you’re ready to drive any vehicle, much less one with airbags deployed.

It’s best to have someone check the car for you before driving it to make sure that everything is in working order.

The next factor to think about is your own safety. There’s always the possibility of another catastrophe. In such a case, the already deployed airbags will no longer function. You’re more likely to suffer fatal consequences if these airbags don’t deploy in the event of another collision.

In short, it is not advisable to drive a car with deployed airbags. The best option is to have the car towed to a nearby repair shop.

At the end of the day, it’s your call whether or not to drive a car with deployed airbags. We advise against it for safety reasons. But if you must, be aware of the risks involved and take all necessary precautions.

Read also: How are Airbags Made?

Things To Consider While Driving with Deployed Airbags

Even though it is technically legal to drive a car after the airbags have been deployed, there are still many risks you take by doing so. You could be seriously injured or killed if you choose to drive with deployable airbags.

Therefore, be sure to consider all of the risks before making a decision.

The steering wheel could be hot after the airbag deploys and could cause burns.

If you have to drive with deployed airbags, be sure to avoid contact with the steering wheel as it could still be hot after the airbag has deployed. This is especially true if you are driving a car with a lot of horsepower under the hood.

The passenger compartment could be structurally damaged.

In a serious collision, the airbags deploy with enough force to cause significant damage to the passenger compartment. This means that driving with deployed airbags could put you at risk of being injured by flying debris or being crushed in a rollover accident.

The airbags could block your view.

Airbags are designed to deploy in front of the driver and passenger, which means they could block your view of the road. This could make it difficult to see obstacles on the road or oncoming traffic, which could lead to an accident.

The airbags will not deploy again

We cannot stress this enough; once the airbags have deployed, they will not deploy again. This means that if you are in another accident, the airbags will not provide any protection.

The car could be harder to control.

After an accident, your car might feel “heavier” to drive. This is because the damage to the vehicle can change its aerodynamics. Also, if your front or rear window is broken, it could cause added wind resistance. All of these factors can make your car harder to control, especially at high speeds.

The wheels could be damaged.

If the airbags deploy, it’s possible that the wheels could be damaged as well. This is because the force of the deployment can cause the wheels to be pushed outward. If this happens, it could make it difficult to steer your car, and you may have to replace the tires.


As you can see, there are a few risks associated with driving a car after the airbags have deployed. It’s important to weigh these risks against the benefits of getting to your destination.

If you decide to drive, be sure to drive slowly and carefully. And, if possible, have someone else in the car with you so they can help keep an eye on the road.