The driver airbag reduces fatalities in frontal crashes by approximately 25% (for belted drivers) and reduces serious head injuries by over 60%. It deploys in 50 milliseconds, half the time it takes to blink an eye.
The driver airbag is an integrated part of the steering wheel system. The typical cushion size varies from 30 to 60 liters.
A basic driver airbag module consists of an inflator with an initiator, a textile bag (cushion), a housing and a cover for the steering wheel. The most common inflators are pyrotechnic inflators, which contain a gas generant that produces a harmless gas (primarily nitrogen) during a crash. When fully inflated, the driver airbag is approximately the diameter of a large beach ball.