According to Wikipedia, the now ubiquitous airbag can be traced back to a 1941 patent on the use of air bladders for protection during collisions. Nowadays, cars in many parts of the world are required to have them, both for the driver and the passenger.
An article I read today reminded me of an exchange I had years ago with a dear friend about accessory placement in our cars… Both things clicked in my head. I’m surprised by how little consideration we give to the airbags. In the linked article, a woman was severely injured by his own body as the airbag deployed.
Airbags deploy very fast. An inflating airbag covers the distance from the dashboard to your face within milliseconds. In ideal conditions, your body will meet with an inflated airbag that is no longer speeding in your direction. But when body parts or objects are placed in its path, they become projectiles. Launched towards you at insane speed. Common objects such as GPS units or cell phones can become deadly projectiles.
Stupid devices such as these can represent a huge risk by placing the cellphone near the area where the airbag will be accelerating at the begining of its deployment. During a crash, the cellphone will likely hit your face and cause significant injuries or even death.