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Airbags Turn Cell Phones into Projectiles

People talking or texting on their new and old cell phones while operating a motor vehicle is an increasing source of concern, but few drivers or passengers will probably have thought about how a cell phone could be responsible for injuring them during the course of a crash.

The traffic department of Dallas Police Department says that they have begun to witness a wave of relatively minor accidents that have ended up with major injuries to drivers – because of their cell phones.  “You could be poking eyes out and cracking skulls, all kinds of things if that is happening,” notes Kevin Narraro, Senior Captain with the Dallas Police Department.

Sgt Paul Hinton explains that the cell phone is often directly in front of the airbag.  Hinton and his colleagues have set up a demonstration which shows what happens when airbag deploys at a high speed of 100 miles per hour – and then hits a cell phone.  “We’ve got a dummy because we couldn’t find anybody willing to sit in front of this for us and we’ve got a cell phone in about the area where a person would use it to text… We’re going to…  deploy this airbag to where that cell phone is suspended very lightly so it should go wherever the energy from the bag sends it.”

Three airbags were deployed in the test, and each time the cell phone hit the dummy either square in the face or the neck.