Jump to Navigation
Don’t Delay. Call Today! (314) 226-1426 | (866) 770-8691

Vehicle Safety & Restraint Devices

Airbags and lap or shoulder belts together are very effective, but there are circumstances when inflating airbags have caused serious injuries, even deaths.

Learn More About Motor Vehicle Defects Claims

At Kolker & Germeroth, L.L.C., we provide an aggressive pursuit of justice for the victims of injuries that occur as a result of motor vehicle defects in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. To learn more about our practice in this area, visit our Car Parts Defects page.

Below we have included some helpful information about motor vehicle defects. To find out more about how our attorneys can help you with your specific legal needs, contact us today.

Thank you for contacting Kolker & Germeroth, L.L.C. Your message has been sent.

Call us now

or use the form below.

Motor vehicle defect claims require the help of experienced trial lawyers. Each of our lawyers has more than 15 years of experience and has secured verdicts and settlements for our clients in excess of $1 million.

If you or a loved one has been hurt due to motor vehicle defects or manufacturing negligence, contact our firm today for a free initial consultation.

Vehicle Safety and Restraint Devices

Vehicle safety is a significant consideration, both in terms of liability for injuries resulting from automobile accidents, and when the average consumer is shopping for a new car. Every new passenger vehicle must meet federal standards specifying minimum safety levels, but this doesn't mean all cars are equally safe. There still are important safety differences. Identifying the safest car on the road is impossible, but it is possible to shop for a safer car because some vehicle characteristics are inherently safer than others, and many automakers offer safety features beyond the required minimums.

When you are faced with serious injuries caused by an unsafe motor vehicle defect, working closely with an attorney who will explain clearly all rights, options and consequences can help to ensure that you make decisions that are in your interests. Contact Kolker & Germeroth, LLC in Clayton, Missouri, today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation with a product liability attorney.

Vehicle Structural Design

A vehicle's structural design is the starting point for protecting you in a serious crash, and minimizing any injury that may result. A good structural design should have a strong occupant compartment, or safety cage, and front and rear ends designed to buckle and bend in serious crashes to absorb crash forces. It is important for these crush zones to keep damage away from the safety cage because, once this cage begins to collapse, the likelihood of injury increases rapidly. If it is effectively designed, a longer crush zone lowers both the likelihood of damage to the occupant compartment and the crash forces inside it. Not all vehicles are equally well designed. Some have crush zones that are too stiff and/or too short and safety cages that aren't strong enough. These can contribute to the collapse of the occupant compartment in serious crashes.

Vehicle Size and Weight

The size and weight of a vehicle are important characteristics that influence its safety in a serious crash. The laws of physics dictate that, all else being equal, larger and heavier vehicles are safer than smaller and lighter ones. In relation to their numbers on the road, small cars have more than twice as many occupant deaths each year as large cars. Size and weight are closely related. Large vehicles typically are heavy, and small ones are light. But these two characteristics don't influence "crashworthiness" the same way. Vehicle size can protect you in both single and two-vehicle collisions because larger vehicles usually have longer crush zones, which help prevent damage to the safety cage and lower the crash forces inside it. Vehicle weight protects you principally in two-vehicle crashes. In a head-on crash, for example, the heavier vehicle drives the lighter one backwards, which decreases forces inside the heavy vehicle and increases forces in the lighter one. All heavy vehicles, even poorly designed ones, offer this advantage in two-vehicle collisions but may not offer good protection in single-vehicle crashes.

Restraint Systems

Seat belts, airbags, and head restraints all work together with a vehicle's structure to protect people in serious crashes. Lap/shoulder belts hold you in place, reducing the chance you'll slam into something hard or get ejected from a crashing vehicle. In frontal crashes (by far the most frequent kind), belts permit you to decelerate with the safety cage as the crush zone buckles and bends. If you aren't belted, you will continue moving forward until something suddenly stops you often a hard interior surface that can cause injury. Some belts are easier and more comfortable to use than others, so test the belts in a car you are thinking of buying. Choose one with belts that fit.

Airbag Risks

Airbags and lap/shoulder belts together are very effective, but there are circumstances when inflating airbags have caused serious injuries, even deaths. The risk occurs if you're on top of, or very close to, an airbag when it first begins to inflate. Using belts correctly and choosing a proper seating position can eliminate serious airbag injury risk without sacrificing the benefits. Drivers should always use belts and sit with the center of the chest at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. Belted drivers potentially at risk of serious airbag injury are the few sitting very close to the wheel. Airbag injury risk is lower in 1998 and later models because automakers have redesigned most of their airbags using less powerful inflators. Some automakers also have reduced inflation injury risk with dual deployment thresholds.

Contact a Product Liability Lawyer

If you have questions about motor vehicle safety and restraint devices, contact Kolker & Germeroth, LLC in Clayton, Missouri, today to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss straightforward solutions that will work for you.

Copyright © 2012 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Back to Main

Have You Been Injured? Call Now! (866) 770-8691 Practice Areas
Get Answers

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, call (866) 770-8691 or fill in this form.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy | Law Marketing by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.

7730 Carondelet, Ste 310 | St. Louis, MO 63105 | PH: 314-226-1426 | PH: 866-770-8691 | F: 314-727-8529 | Email | Directions