Saab 9-3 Airbag deployment

cookingrvcJanuary 17, 2006

I was just in an accident with my brand new Saab 9-3.

Minding my own business, driving straight, the driver in the car to my right, without looking, executed a u-turn right into me. He hit the front-most part of the right side of my car, and as the momentum carried him, crumbled his car along the impact point, until he came to a rest in front of me. No damage to me other than the right, front-most part of my fender and the stuff underneath that point ($5,000).

My question is...had I actually hit the guys car (frontal) as opposed to him hitting me, wouldn't my airbags have deployed? I am trying to prevent having any contributory negligence being assigned to me, but I can't find data on the airbags.

You;d think this would be a no brainer since the kid admitted to the PO that he was making a u-turn (from the right lane next to me)and didn't look before doing so. So wrong on so many levels....!

I had my seatbelt on, and was probably going between 25-30 mph at the time of impact, in the event that has a bearing on airbag deployment.

Thanks, Sue

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Collected a big dent in you new Saab - GROAN!

Your air bags did not deploy for one of two reasons: they were not operable, or the impact was less than the acceleration set point of the impact sensor. It is my opinion that it was the latter, since by your description, the right front corner of your car contacted his car at a soft spot, the sheet metal, and did a major crush on his sheet metal. The right front corner of your fender and bumper was crumpled. It was not a high speed impact. Both of you were going the same direction when the other driver cut hard left into the your path. The result was a low speed crunch rather than an impactive hit such as a head-on crash. (The main factor is the relative speed between your two vehicles.)

Now, you have the aftermath of proving that the other driver is 100% liable (and his insurance agent will try his best to lessen this amount). You need help. Two things can aid to you: a witness, and the police report. Detail photos may help, too. A photo of the positions of the two vehicles immediately after the crash helps to verify your description. An eye-witness would be very valuable. Other than that, your insurance company may have to help with the repair, but, if your case is well documented, your agent may take the other company to small claims court and recoup some of the loss. (I had this happen to me 30 years ago. My agent regained my deductible for me.)

Was the other driver using a cell phone at the time of the accident? You'll need a witness to verify this if it occurred. Was his radio/music player turned on loud?

The police report carries more weight when the accident occurs on a public road rather than a parking lot of a business. If the parking lot is privately owned and the accident is wholly confined to the private propery, the police tend to bow out and let the two parties duke out the settlement.

I wish you much luck. Be thankful that no one was seriously injured. This would have really complicated things.

[I'm really curious. I wonder what prompted the other driver to suddently attemp a U-turn on a 4 lane street? I presume that you were in his left side blind spot, but you should have been visable in his mirror if it was correctly adjusted.]

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 2:02AM
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Thanks Jem,

No one stopped although it was rush hour and many cars witnesses the crash from all vantage points.

The 19 year old (reason #1) driving the other car had just come off a nearby parkway and was lost (reason #2). He was attempting to turn around (BIG reason #3) to get back on the parkway. He admitted he didn't look (reason #4) when attemting the u-turn from the right lane (reason #5).

The police report quotes him as saying 'he didn't see me' which is not quite the statement he made to me that he 'didn't look', and was confused because he was lost. However, the boxes on the report tell the whole story. u-turn, improper turn, and driver inattentiveness were all identified. How his insurance company can give me any of the blame is beyond me. We'll see later today what they have to say.

I want to point out to te insurance company that I sustained no damage consistant with seeing someone in front of me and failing to stop in time, nor did my airbags deploy. But rather, that I was hit blindly from the right while the other driver executed an illegal minuever.

thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 8:27AM
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