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Airbags - A Necessity for Today’s Cars

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Last Updated On :
  • 27/06/2024

Around the globe, a car airbag is one of the most common safety features. Airbags have been known to save thousands of lives over the years. Their core purpose is to minimise the impact on the people in the car during a collision and prevent any severe injury. While the use of airbags in cars in India is still low, the awareness and demand are growing at a steady pace.

Driving is slowly becoming riskier with ever-increasing vehicles on the roads, poor road conditions, and traffic jams. According to a report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), in 2020, there were 3,66,138 road accidents causing the loss of 1,31,714 lives and injuring 3,48,279 individuals. Also, around 70% of the deaths due to road accidents are in the age group of 18-45 years. While the government has been taking measures to reduce road accidents, a car airbag is evolving as a necessity to save precious lives.

What are Airbags in the Car?

Airbags in the car are deflated cushions that inflate automatically when the car senses a severe collision or crash. This protects people in the car from hitting the interior of the car or any objects outside it during a collision. So, airbags are used in cars for safety why? Because they cushion the impact and reduce the possibility of injuries.

Here is all you need to know about airbags are used in cars for safety why.

The Airbag System

When a car gets into a collision with another vehicle or an outside object like a tree, the airbag sensor present in the car starts analysing the severity of the impact. If it is severe enough, the inflators are signalled to start filling the deflated airbags with a harmless gas. This takes a fraction of a second. The inflated bags prevent the passengers from hitting any hard surfaces and injuring themselves.

What are Airbags Made of?

An airbag is made using a piece of thin nylon fabric. This fabric is strong and occupies very little space when folded. Airbags are placed on the steering wheel, dashboard, doors, and at various other places in the car based on the structure of the vehicle.

Thus, this is all you need to know about ​​what are airbags made of.

Types of Airbags

There are different types of airbags installed at different places in a car.

  • Front airbags: These are the most commonly used airbags in cars. They usually deploy from the steering wheel and dashboard and protect the driver and front-seat passenger of the vehicle from getting injured in the event of a frontal crash. Used in conjunction with seatbelts, they offer protection from such collisions. This is the most common use of airbags in cars.

  • Side airbags: These airbags are installed in the backrest of a car seat. During a collision, the airbag system ensures that they inflate between the seat and the door of the vehicle. There are two types of side airbags:

  1. Torso car airbag – that protects your torso from hitting hard surfaces or objects
  2. Curtain car airbag – that protects your head
  • Knee airbags: These airbags are installed below the dashboard. During a collision, the airbag sensor sends a signal to the inflators to fill gas in these airbags and fill the space between the passenger’s knees and the dashboard. Hence, they protect the lower legs of passengers.

  • Inflatable seat belt: While a seat belt is a safety feature in a car, there have been many instances when passengers with fragile bones like children and the elderly suffered injuries due to the pressure from the seatbelt during a collision. An inflatable seat belt acts as an airbag in a car and protects such passengers.

As you can see, a car airbag is designed to boost the security of the passengers of a car in the event of an accident or collision. While it is important to use them, you must also make sure that the car insurance plan offers optimum coverage in such circumstances. Tata AIG offers a range of plans in four-wheeler insurance. Before you purchase one, make sure that you compare plans and use our online car insurance calculator to find the best insurance for your car.

The Usage of Airbags in India

While people in India are aware of airbags, there is a lack of awareness regarding the protection offered by them. In recent years, car manufacturers in India launched small cars with optional airbags. However, with price being a major concern for car buyers in India, this didn’t receive a strong response.

In India, a car airbag was not mandatory until 2019. Hence, car companies offered them as an optional feature. Further, the cost of installing an airbag could skew the budget of the car owner. However, in 2019, the government made it mandatory for all cars to have a driver-side airbag. Further, from 2022, the passenger-side airbag was also made compulsory in India. In addition, the government is also planning to make six airbags compulsory in vehicles carrying up to eight passengers (this is yet to be finalised).

With the increasing number of road accidents, car manufacturers are trying to create safer cars for people. In such a landscape, airbags are a necessary security feature. However, adding safety features usually increases the cost of the vehicle. However, since most Indians are cost-sensitive, the acceptance of an airbag in cars has been slow. However, with airbags becoming mandatory in India, people have started understanding the benefits of this security feature.


Airbags are one of the most important security features in a car as they can reduce the possibility of injuries during an accident or a collision. While installing airbags increases the cost of the vehicle, the protection they offer far outweighs the added cost. At Tata AIG, we urge car owners to ensure that they drive safely, use all the safety features of their vehicles, and purchase a car insurance policy to manage any emergencies.

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