Can You Drive A Car With Deployed Airbags

Can You Drive A Car With Deployed Airbags – Is It Illegal?

Being in a car accident or collision can be very traumatizing. When an accident happens, the airbags’ sensor is triggered, and the airbags deploy. Airbags are designed to protect drivers and passengers in an accident. 

However, can you drive a car with deployed airbags? Yes, you can. As long as every other part of your car functions, you can still drive your car. No legal laws state that you cannot drive a vehicle with deployed airbags. But replace the deployed airbags before driving your car due to the potential safety hazards.

Continue reading to learn about them and whether driving while airbags are deployed is safe.

Can You Drive a Car with Deployed Airbags?

Can You Drive a Car with Deployed Airbags

Yes, you can. If you are not injured, you can drive with deployed airbags, and the car functions well. However, the engine shuts down in new car models, and you can’t drive with the airbags deployed. Apart from that, no legal laws exist against driving a car with deployed airbags.

But it is not safe to drive with deployed airbags. When airbags deploy, they release a considerable amount of force, which can cause damage to the interior of the car, including the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield. 

If your vehicle sustains such damage, you should not drive it until you inspect the car well.

Can You Drive a Car with Deployed Airbags

Also, when airbags deploy, you no longer have functional airbags. Therefore, driving the car puts you and the passengers at risk. Also, after being in an accident, you might be in shock, and driving in this mental state could put you and others in danger. 

What Are The Different Types of Airbags?

Here are some of the most common types of airbags:

What Are The Different Types of Airbags

Frontal Airbags

This is the most common type of airbag found in the steering wheel and dashboard. They are intended to protect the driver and front-seat passenger in the event of a head-on or front-end collision. 

Frontal Airbags

Side Airbags

Side airbags are located on the side of the seat, door, or roof rail and protect the occupant’s head, chest, and torso in case of a side-impact collision. They can also help reduce the risk of injury in rollover accidents. Side airbags can be of the curtain or torso variety. 

Knee Airbags

They are located on the lower dashboard or the side of the front seat. They protect the driver’s knees and legs in a frontal collision.

Knee Airbags

Rear Airbags

They are designed to protect passengers in the rear seats during a rear-end collision. These are relatively rare and typically found in luxury vehicles.

What Should You Do Before Driving With Deployed Airbags?

There are several precautions you should take before driving with deployed airbags. 

What Should You Do Before Driving With Deployed Airbags

Examine For Injuries

If you are involved in a collision that causes the airbags to deploy, you should first check yourself and any passengers for injuries.

Some people are injured when the airbags deploy with force. 

So, ensure that you or the other passengers are not hurt. Also, ensure you are in the right mental state to continue driving. If you are feeling even a bit concussed or if anyone else is injured, call 911.

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Ensure Your Car Is In Good Working Condition

Ensure your headlights and tail lights are working correctly. If you smell gasoline, don’t start the engine because severe fluid leaks are fire hazards and can cause damage.

It’s also critical to inspect the engine, radiator, and condenser and ensure they’re in good working order to keep your car from overheating on the road.

Ensure Your Car Is In Good Working Condition

Don’t forget about loose parts like bumpers and axles, which can cause severe damage if they come loose while driving. Check your wheels for damage, as popped tires or misaligned wheels can be dangerous to drive on.

Check the electrical components to ensure that there are no problems. If you are unsure about the performance of your vehicle, stop driving. 

Deflate The Airbags

Check that the airbags are fully deflated before you hit the road. Although they will eventually deflate, puncturing them with a sharp object can hasten the process. 

Once the airbags have deflated, ensure you have easy access to all of the car’s controls. If everything appears to be in order, you may proceed to drive away from the scene.

Consider The Distance To The Mechanic

Because you don’t have airbag protection, you should consider how far you must drive to a repair shop before driving. If the distance is long, have the car towed instead. 

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Airbags?

The cost of replacing airbags varies depending on your vehicle’s make and model, the number of airbags needing replacement, and the mechanic’s location and expertise. 

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Airbags

On average, a single airbag replacement can cost between $1,000 and $1,500. However, the cost of replacing multiple airbags can quickly add up. Additional charges, such as labor and diagnostic fees, may be incurred in addition to the cost of the airbag itself. 

Some newer vehicles may also require airbag system recalibration after replacement, which can increase the cost.

Does Insurance Cover Airbag Replacement Cost?

Several factors influence whether an insurance company will pay for airbag replacement after an accident. These factors include the vehicle’s value, your involvement in the accident, and the number of airbags needing replacement.

Does Insurance Cover Airbag Replacement Cost
  • If the airbag replacement cost exceeds the estimated value of your car, your insurance company may declare it totaled. 
  • If you did not cause the accident, your insurance company would likely cover the replacement costs. 

It’s important to note that insurance policies and coverage vary widely. Hence, it’s always best to review your policy and speak with your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage for airbag replacement.

  • The number of airbags needing replacement is also an important consideration. If you only need to replace one or two airbags, your insurance company is more likely to cover the cost. 
  • If all of your airbags need to be replaced, your insurance company may decide to declare your car totaled. This is because the airbag replacement cost may exceed the car’s value.
  • If the airbag deploys due to a malfunction or defect unrelated to an accident, your insurance may not cover the replacement cost. In this case, you may need to cover the expense out of pocket or seek reimbursement from the manufacturer if a recall or warranty is in place.
Does Insurance Cover Airbag Replacement Cost
If you’re wondering about driving a car with a coolant leak or a bad control arm, our website offers articles that can provide useful insights. Our article on driving a car with a coolant leak discusses the potential risks and consequences of operating a vehicle in such a condition. It also provides recommendations on how to address the issue and prevent further damage. Additionally, our article on driving with a bad control arm explores the implications of this mechanical issue and advises on the necessary actions to take. These articles aim to help you make informed decisions about the drivability and safety of your vehicle.
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Here are other related questions you may find useful. 

Q: What should you do after airbags deploy?

First, make sure you or anyone else is not injured. If you or your passengers are injured, call 911; otherwise, inspect the vehicle for damage. If the vehicle is damaged, contact towing services. If the car is in good condition and you can drive, deflate the airbags and drive to the nearest mechanic shop. 

Q: Can airbags be reused after they deploy?

No, airbags cannot be reused once they have been deployed. When an airbag inflates with compressed gas during a collision, it cushions the occupants from the impact. The process causes the airbag to deflate, and it cannot be inflated again. 

Q: At what impact will the airbags deploy?

The impact required to deploy the airbags varies based on the make and model of the vehicle. 

However, the airbags will deploy in a frontal crash with a 12 to 14 miles per hour or higher speed. The vehicle’s sensors detect the force of the impact and trigger the airbag deployment to protect the occupants.


Can you drive a car with deployed airbags? Yes, you can. There are no legal laws prohibiting it. So, as long as your vehicle is not damaged from the collision and you can drive, you can. Only drive for short distances and ensure the airbags are completely deflated before driving.

If your car is damaged, contact a towing company to have the vehicle towed to a repair shop. Remember that safety should always be your top priority, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, regarding safety, driving a car with deployed airbags is not recommended and could be dangerous. 

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