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Had just lost my job and was heading to meet a potential employer....crossed an interstate bridge at the speed limit (45 mph) in my solid ole 850 (275K miles, manual tranny to boot). A kid in an SUV was at a side road and pulled out point-blank. I hit him directly between the wheels, at his driver's door. Locked together, did a 360 spin and the 850 chucked off the SUV. I was unhurt (airbags did NOT deploy!!) but the SUV driver was pretty beat up. I got photos, cranked up and backed the 850 out of the line of traffic...a deputy sheriff that saw the whole wreck was amazed that I was ok and that the Volvo still ran. I made a joke about Swedish Armour plating and then looked at the car a bit more closely...the front was a foot and a half back, literally wrapped around the engine. The Highway Patrolman who showed up later said he had just left an accident with an Acura....30 mph wreck, two transported to the hospital with multiple injuries. When I said I was doing 45 mph, he went and looked at the SUV again....totalled. The 850 shoved the side in around 2 ft. Officer said, "Think I'll buy a Volvo for the wife and kids..." Hated to lose that car, but better it that my life!

Derswede
 

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Glad you're okay, but it's a little scary the airbags didn't deploy in a 45 mph collision. I know they are technically rated for a certain number of years. I wonder if they didn't deploy because they're old?
 

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Had just lost my job and was heading to meet a potential employer....crossed an interstate bridge at the speed limit (45 mph) in my solid ole 850 (275K miles, manual tranny to boot). A kid in an SUV was at a side road and pulled out point-blank. I hit him directly between the wheels, at his driver's door. Locked together, did a 360 spin and the 850 chucked off the SUV. I was unhurt (airbags did NOT deploy!!) but the SUV driver was pretty beat up. I got photos, cranked up and backed the 850 out of the line of traffic...a deputy sheriff that saw the whole wreck was amazed that I was ok and that the Volvo still ran. I made a joke about Swedish Armour plating and then looked at the car a bit more closely...the front was a foot and a half back, literally wrapped around the engine. The Highway Patrolman who showed up later said he had just left an accident with an Acura....30 mph wreck, two transported to the hospital with multiple injuries. When I said I was doing 45 mph, he went and looked at the SUV again....totalled. The 850 shoved the side in around 2 ft. Officer said, "Think I'll buy a Volvo for the wife and kids..." Hated to lose that car, but better it that my life!

Derswede
Wow...this must have been a pretty fierce collision...hitting anything at 45 mph is no joke.

Can you post some pictures of your car?

Although it is a moot point if your car has been totaled (due to the cost of repairs vs. value of car), if the car is not totaled, I would check the airbag sensors at a Volvo retailer; I believe that the airbags need to be looked at every 10 years and your 850 is way beyond that threshold.
 

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Still looking for the wreck photos....I managed to get on the brakes pretty hard at the last second but not enough to help much. I was more amazed at how little damage the car suffered! A new front clip and it probably could be back on the street...but the insurance company would not sell it back to me. All doors could be opened with no problem except for one place where the DS fender rubbed on the door. The SUV was one of the smaller GM (or a suzuki made) SUV's. It took quite a beating. After the accident, all I did was to get me out of the car and the two guys out of the SUV as it was leaking fuel. Powered down both and found that the guys in the SUV could not speak English. Thank goodness I speak Spanish. Got them clear and the Sheriff's deputy started running info on the licenses. Turns out the driver of the SUV had 3 outstanding warrants against him...he left in bracelets! Did find the estimate for repair...the frame was bent 5" to the left. Declared non-rebuildable. I asked ref. the airbags but never got a reasonable answer....one reason why I always still wear seatbelts. SUV driver suffered head contusions and possible concussion. Passenger was ok except for bruises. Nothing I care to repeat!
 

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you don't want airbags deployed!!! those are scary. Airbags sometimes do more harm than 1st impact.
airbags only should deploy when your life could suffer, I know from fact sometimes airbags bang out in german cars if you only hit a curb :facepalm: If the Volvo airbag didn't deployed, it wasn't needed on VOLVO terms. hey and you survived, you could have ended up with a burned face coz you drove something else.
 

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Seat belts have saved more lives than air bags. The main reason we have air bags is that, because many drivers in a certain country had a Constitutional Right not to wear seat belts the powerful insurance industry in said country lobbied their Congress for mandatory air bags which, because they were a passive form of safety, did not infringe on said Constitutional Rights. Now because the automotive market in said country was the largest in the world at that time, and that exporting cars to that country was very lucrative, the car manufacturers in exporting countries were pretty well forced to install air bags or lose a major market. BTW, if air bags are such wonderful things, why does every racing sanctioning body that I know of prohibit the use of air bags?
 

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Um...anyone who wants to argue against the usefulness or necessity of airbags needs to get their head checked. Independent of the importance of seat belts, airbags absolutely save lives. Yes, sometimes they can cause harm but far more often than not they have a tremendous positive impact on the survivability of a crash.


Seat belts have saved more lives than air bags. The main reason we have air bags is that, because many drivers in a certain country had a Constitutional Right not to wear seat belts the powerful insurance industry in said country lobbied their Congress for mandatory air bags which, because they were a passive form of safety, did not infringe on said Constitutional Rights. Now because the automotive market in said country was the largest in the world at that time, and that exporting cars to that country was very lucrative, the car manufacturers in exporting countries were pretty well forced to install air bags or lose a major market. BTW, if air bags are such wonderful things, why does every racing sanctioning body that I know of prohibit the use of air bags?
I really hope you aren't referring to the U.S. even though it's pretty clear you are. Your analysis is more than a little off.
 

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Um...anyone who wants to argue against the usefulness or necessity of airbags needs to get their head checked. Independent of the importance of seat belts, airbags absolutely save lives. Yes, sometimes they can cause harm but far more often than not they have a tremendous positive impact on the survivability of a crash.
OK, take off your seat belt and go crash into something at a speed that'll trigger the SRS and see what happens.



I really hope you aren't referring to the U.S. even though it's pretty clear you are.
I little toungue-in-cheek jab, but yes, I was referring to the US.

Your analysis is more than a little off.
How so? I was around as an adult when this whole air bag thing got into the automotive and mass media, and what I said above is pretty much what I saw happen.
 

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OK, take off your seat belt and go crash into something at a speed that'll trigger the SRS and see what happens.
That comparison simply gives you the result you want but it's not a valid comparison. The choice is between being in an accident with or without airbags but wearing a seat belt in either one. Anyone who would choose to not have the airbags deploy is, for lack of a better term, an idiot. They're SUPPLEMENTAL restraint systems, not alternative restraint systems. They're made to be used in conjunction with seat belts to control body movement in the event of a crash. They are not intended to take the place of seat belts and if they were then there would be an entire line of product liability cases that would have basically forced them off the market (and mandatory seat belt legislation wouldn't exist).

Your analysis however is "off" in the sense that you don't understand what constitutional rights are in the United States. There was never a constitutional right to not wear a seat belt. Perhaps one could argue that there was a certain liberty interest and perhaps some people went with that initially but constitutional rights don't just go away. There would have to be an express abrogation of that right in the form of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (assuming it was a fundamental right) or a Supreme Court decision basically overturning any previous case suggesting a right (which would thus mean a right never existed, people just thought maybe it did). If it was a constitutional right 49 states wouldn't have mandatory seat belt laws right now.

I will admit that in development they were thought to be a replacement for seat belts but it was discovered that they were not suitable for such use which is why they are supplemental. However it is worth noting that some European brands were offering airbags on their high end vehicles in Europe before they offered them here and BEFORE they were mandatory on all cars in the U.S. That directly contradicts your assertion that European manufacturers were forced to develop and use them in order to retain the ability to sell in the U.S. Many of the brands already had airbags before they became mandatory and were already selling them in Europe as options.

In all honesty you sound like someone who still has the issues with first generation airbags in their head and doesn't want to see the improvement or the necessity of airbags when it comes to surviving a crash. This isn't the 80s. Airbags have changed since the first ones were released and just like any technology have improved over time (including adding sensors to seats so that airbags don't deploy when someone too small is sitting in them such as children who were the main ones injured in the 90s). This makes the entire argument null because regardless of how they came about they still contribute heavily to the survivability of a crash. It doesn't matter if the insurance industry is to blame, as you claim, or if manufacturers led the push for airbags starting with their high end cars, they save lives.

Also, bring professional racing into the conversation is pointless because passenger cars lack things like roll cages, 5 point belts and head and neck restraints. We also don't drive around with helmets to protect our heads.
 

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Without doing a year's research on seat belts and SRS systems and the process of making them mandatory, I remember that over several years there were states that tried to make seat belts mandatory and were stymied by court actions against them on the basis of Constitutional Rights. Now I know that I'm not an expert on US law making and protests against them, but I do remember that, as mentioned, it took quite some time for things to settle down and get mandatory seat belts into law. I also remember that, during that period, there was instituted a partial seat belt system whereby a motorized single shoulder belt was developed that automatically deployed when a door was closed. This system was made mandatory, and this was considered to be Constitutional as it did not involve the driver or passengers having to connect this belt. This system also included a separate lap belt, which was not made mandatory due to the "rights" issue. And as an aside, the same protests were made regarding mandatory motorcycle helmets, which I believe still stands in some States.

And yes, I know that current SRS systems are better now, and I also know that, at the time air bag systems were being promoted in the US, some European manufacturers were developing their own SRS systems, but this largely driven by the probability of mandatory air bags in the US. I also don't have a hate towards SRS systems as they are useful in crashes, but there are some shortcomings, the main one being that after being deployed in a crash they deflate and are therefore not helpful in secondary and subsequent impacts and roll-overs, and in these instances it is the seat belts that are the main protection. I therefore stand by my opinion that seat belts are the primary protection and air bags are what they're commonly called; supplementary restrant systems.
 

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I therefore stand by my opinion that seat belts are the primary protection and air bags are what they're commonly called; supplementary restrant systems.
That's not really what you were initially suggesting, especially with your wording and racing comparison but I'm going to leave it alone from here because it's just going to go back and forth.
 

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I know Im late in this but that was very well put Sir!

That comparison simply gives you the result you want but it's not a valid comparison. The choice is between being in an accident with or without airbags but wearing a seat belt in either one. Anyone who would choose to not have the airbags deploy is, for lack of a better term, an idiot. They're SUPPLEMENTAL restraint systems, not alternative restraint systems. They're made to be used in conjunction with seat belts to control body movement in the event of a crash. They are not intended to take the place of seat belts and if they were then there would be an entire line of product liability cases that would have basically forced them off the market (and mandatory seat belt legislation wouldn't exist).

Your analysis however is "off" in the sense that you don't understand what constitutional rights are in the United States. There was never a constitutional right to not wear a seat belt. Perhaps one could argue that there was a certain liberty interest and perhaps some people went with that initially but constitutional rights don't just go away. There would have to be an express abrogation of that right in the form of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (assuming it was a fundamental right) or a Supreme Court decision basically overturning any previous case suggesting a right (which would thus mean a right never existed, people just thought maybe it did). If it was a constitutional right 49 states wouldn't have mandatory seat belt laws right now.

I will admit that in development they were thought to be a replacement for seat belts but it was discovered that they were not suitable for such use which is why they are supplemental. However it is worth noting that some European brands were offering airbags on their high end vehicles in Europe before they offered them here and BEFORE they were mandatory on all cars in the U.S. That directly contradicts your assertion that European manufacturers were forced to develop and use them in order to retain the ability to sell in the U.S. Many of the brands already had airbags before they became mandatory and were already selling them in Europe as options.

In all honesty you sound like someone who still has the issues with first generation airbags in their head and doesn't want to see the improvement or the necessity of airbags when it comes to surviving a crash. This isn't the 80s. Airbags have changed since the first ones were released and just like any technology have improved over time (including adding sensors to seats so that airbags don't deploy when someone too small is sitting in them such as children who were the main ones injured in the 90s). This makes the entire argument null because regardless of how they came about they still contribute heavily to the survivability of a crash. It doesn't matter if the insurance industry is to blame, as you claim, or if manufacturers led the push for airbags starting with their high end cars, they save lives.

Also, bring professional racing into the conversation is pointless because passenger cars lack things like roll cages, 5 point belts and head and neck restraints. We also don't drive around with helmets to protect our heads.
 

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Airbags are a supplement to seatbelts. They are not designed to work instead of them and they do not do all that much if you aren't wearing a seatbelt because you dont decelerate into them, you just roll around them and still smack your head on whatever hard object finds it first. If you don't wear a seatbelt you are a dumbass, plain and simple. 45 mph seems fast for no airbag so I would be curious if the sensors went off, but at the same time if he was unharmed and the car was still driveable it would seem the airbag wasn't needed. By not deploying it left him less dazed and confused and able to maneuver the car, had there been a potential for a secondary crash the airbag was not distracting him from avoiding it and was still available had the second crash required it more than the first. To put this into perspective, when an airbag goes off its pretty much like a flashbang for anyone who plays xbox. It's loud as hell, can and often does knock the wind out of you and throws powder everywhere making it hard to see. Sure this is better than a concussion or skull fracture, but if you aren't in danger of either it is much better for it to not go off.
 

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Without doing a year's research on seat belts and SRS systems and the process of making them mandatory, I remember that over several years there were states that tried to make seat belts mandatory and were stymied by court actions against them on the basis of Constitutional Rights. Now I know that I'm not an expert on US law making and protests against them, but I do remember that, as mentioned, it took quite some time for things to settle down and get mandatory seat belts into law. I also remember that, during that period, there was instituted a partial seat belt system whereby a motorized single shoulder belt was developed that automatically deployed when a door was closed. This system was made mandatory, and this was considered to be Constitutional as it did not involve the driver or passengers having to connect this belt. This system also included a separate lap belt, which was not made mandatory due to the "rights" issue. And as an aside, the same protests were made regarding mandatory motorcycle helmets, which I believe still stands in some States.

And yes, I know that current SRS systems are better now, and I also know that, at the time air bag systems were being promoted in the US, some European manufacturers were developing their own SRS systems, but this largely driven by the probability of mandatory air bags in the US. I also don't have a hate towards SRS systems as they are useful in crashes, but there are some shortcomings, the main one being that after being deployed in a crash they deflate and are therefore not helpful in secondary and subsequent impacts and roll-overs, and in these instances it is the seat belts that are the main protection. I therefore stand by my opinion that seat belts are the primary protection and air bags are what they're commonly called; supplementary restrant systems.
If I remember correctly, this "supplemental" system is why so many American cars had those absolutely asinine track shoulder belts in the early '90s. There was some mandate for a supplemental system, since Americans couldn't be trusted to buckle themselves, and Europeans went the airbag route, while Americans and Japanese went the stupid (and cheaper) retractable shoulder harness route.

Airbags are designed to deploy in the event you need them, but they're one and done. So for the OP to have been fine and his car still running, obviously it wasn't needed. I was in an accident on the Mass Pike at 75 mph when I was in college, in my dad's old '94 940. No airbag went off. And the car was drivable after hitting a stationary object. I was able to get the car to the right side of the road in traffic. Had the airbag gone off, I might not have even been able to get the car to stop straight and could have spun out of control into a lane where cars were moving fast. As it was, the cop on the scene said it was amazing that I had been able to keep the car under control with 2 of the 4 tires completely destroyed.

Just because we have airbags doesn't mean they're necessary in every accident. And rest assured that Volvo knows more about when it is necessary than anyone here.
 

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A couple of months ago on my way home from work I stopped to help at an accident scene. It was a Chevy Equinox where the woman driving was in the right lane (4 lanes, 495 in southern MD) sideswiped someone and clipped the right guardrail at an angle. Her airbags went off and then she shot across all 4 lanes and hit the left guardrail at more or less a 90 degree angle. Her airbags were already deployed and didn't do anything for the second impact. There were a fair number of military and some firefighters there all with various emergency training so we were able to get her out of the car and perform CPR until the ambulance arrived but she still didn't make it. All in all the accident didn't look that bad, the car was decently intact and she didn't seem all that beat up other than being unconcious. I never found out what the actual cause of death was.

Made me glad to be in a Volvo.
 
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