Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual: How Does an Airbag Restrain?

In moderate to severe frontal or near frontal collisions, even belted occupants can contact the steering wheel or the instrument panel. In moderate to severe side collisions, even belted occupants can contact the inside of the vehicle.

Airbags supplement the protection provided by safety belts. Frontal airbags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body, stopping the occupant more gradually. Roof-rail airbags distribute the force of the impact more evenly over the occupant's upper body.

But airbags would not help in many types of collisions, primarily because the occupant's motion is not toward those airbags. See When Should an Airbag Inflate for more information.

Airbags should never be regarded as anything more than a supplement to safety belts.

    What Makes an Airbag Inflate?
    In a deployment event, the sensing system sends an electrical signal triggering a release of gas from the inflator. Gas from the inflator fills the airbag causing the bag to break out of the cover ...

    What Will You See After an Airbag Inflates?
    After the frontal airbags inflate, they quickly deflate, so quickly that some people may not even realize an airbag inflated. Roof-rail airbags may still be at least partially inflated for some tim ...

    See also:

    Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual. Easy Entry Seat (Coupe)
    WARNING: If the easy entry right front seat is not locked, it can move. In a sudden stop or crash, the person sitting there could be injured. After you have used it, be sure to push rearward on an easy entry seat to be sure it is locked. WARNING: If either seatback is not locked, it could mov ...

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