Airbag failed to protect Liberty County car accident victim

Brianne Haltom was involved in a one-car accident in Liberty County last November when a previously undiagnosed medical condition caused her to have a seizure and veer off the road. Her car slammed into a tree causing her head to strike the steering wheel: her airbag did not deploy.  Brianne suffered facial fractures and a brain injury that required her to be put in a medically induced coma.  She also suffered an eye injury.

Despite the severe front end impact to Brianne’s pickup truck, while the passenger side airbag did deploy, Brianne’s steering wheel airbag did not. This phenomena is referred to as a “split deployment.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 22,500 lives have been saved by airbags since 1998 and that in 2006 airbags deployed in 1.1 million crashes nationwide.

After Local 2 aired a story about 2-years ago on airbag failures the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published the findings of a study in a March 2009 status report.  Looking at a sample of fatal front end car crashes it was determined an estimated 50 to 100 deaths occur per year involving potential airbag failures, which is 1 to 2 percent of all deaths of person riding in the front seats in frontal crashes.

Click2Houston’s full story is available here.