Can Potholes Deploy Curtain Airbags On Your Car?

If you’re worried that driving over large potholes can damage your car to the point where something really bad is going to happen, then good, you should be.

In an attempt to see if potholes can actually deploy airbags, Warped Perception took a W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon to one of the harshest streets in Chicago, where the asphalt is definitely not what you’d call “car friendly”.

These tests were executed multiple times, as the driver realized that driving at high speeds can actually make the impact less harsh as long as the pothole isn’t too large in size.

On the 3rd run, which was done at 40 mph (62 km/h), is when the curtain airbags deployed. By the looks of it, it happened just as the upper ball joint on the front left wheel rebounded up towards the chassis.

According to the driver/host, the airbag deployment occurred with the impact sensors still intact. He was also surprised by the fact that it was the passenger side airbags that went off, and not those on the driver’s side.


  • BobV12

    “Pothole mystery” lol it can be understood with the damped oscillator model

  • Vassilis

    It’s interesting how with higher speeds the wheels fly over the potholes.

  • SteersUright

    I don’t understand the relevance. If you see a street with “potholes” that big, would you ever drive this fast?

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