When it comes to quick-release steering wheels, one of the most common questions is whether they have airbags. Surprisingly, this question doesn’t have a straightforward answer.
In this article, we will explore the topic of quick-release steering wheel airbags in-depth and try to provide a definitive answer. So, do quick-release steering wheels have airbags? The answer might surprise you!
Quick-release steering wheels, as they originally come, do not have airbags. By definition, a quick-release steering wheel is a performance steering wheel that can be detached quickly. This kind of steering wheel is what is fitted in racing cars.
Any car with a quick-release steering wheel should be on the racetrack and not on the streets. Thus, there is no need for an airbag because the driver should have a full racing harness.
Quick-release steering wheels are also known as rapid-release, removable, or aftermarket steering wheels. Therefore, throughout this article, do not get confused if these words are used interchangeably.
Why do people want quick-release steering wheels?
Most car lovers and owners are constantly on the lookout to get accessories to customize their cars.
One emerging trend is adding a quick-release steering wheel. This change may make the car look a little more sporty. However, there is a concern about safety as these quick-release steering wheels do not come with airbags. So why would you still opt for it?
1. Get out in case of an accident.
The first and most important reason why you might consider using a quick-release steering wheel is if you are a professional racer, and you need to be able to get out of the car quickly in case of an accident.
As a professional racer, your safety is of the utmost importance. In the event of an accident, every second counts. A quick-release steering wheel will allow you to get out of the car quickly and safely.
2. Lower the weight of your car
Secondly, quick-release steering wheels are popular among those who race their cars. If you want to lower the weight of your car for racing purposes, quick-release steering wheels can be a good option.
Every quick-release steering wheel is different, and some are lighter than others. By switching to a quick-release steering wheel, you can potentially lower the weight of your car by a few pounds because in racing every weight counts in determining how fast or slow your car moves.
3. You are on a budget
Quick-release steering wheels are generally more affordable than airbag-equipped steering wheels. If you are on a budget, quick-release steering wheels might be a good option for you in case you want to change your old steering wheel.
With just a few bucks, you can find a quick-release steering wheel that will give the interior of your car an entirely new look and feel.
4. You like to customize your car
Another reason why quick-release steering wheels are popular is that they offer a lot of customization options. You can choose from a wide variety of colors, materials, and finishes.
You can also add other accessories to quick-release steering wheels such as buttons, knobs, and switches. These accessories can help you perform different functions while driving, such as turning on the radio or changing the volume.
5. You want a lighter steering wheel
Furthermore, quick-release steering wheels are generally lighter than airbag-equipped steering wheels. If you are looking for a lighter steering wheel, quick-release steering wheels might be a good option for you.
These types of steering wheels are not as bulky and heavy as the manufacturer-produced airbag-equipped steering wheels and make driving less stressful than it already is.
6. You want a smaller steering wheel
Lastly, quick-release steering wheels are typically smaller than airbag-equipped steering wheels. If you are looking for a smaller steering wheel, quick-release steering wheels might be a good option for you since these types of steering wheels come in different sizes and are comparatively better fitting and smaller in diameter so may give a more enjoyable driving experience. All you have to do is choose the size that best suits you.
Cons of quick-release steering wheels
While quick-release steering wheels offer several benefits, there are also some downsides that you should be aware of.
Some of the potential downsides of quick-release steering wheels include:
1. You could get ejected from the car in an accident
One of the potential downsides of quick-release steering wheels is that you could get ejected from the car in an accident.
If you are involved in a high-speed collision, the quick-release mechanism could potentially come undone, and you could be ejected from the car which can potentially cause more serious injuries.
To avoid this, it is important to make sure that the quick-release steering wheel is properly installed and secured before driving.
2. They are not as durable as airbag-equipped steering wheels
Another potential downside of quick-release steering wheels is that they are not as durable as airbag-equipped steering wheels.
The quick-release mechanism could potentially fail over time, and the steering wheel could come loose while you are driving.
3. They offer less protection than airbag-equipped steering wheels
Quick-release steering wheels also offer less protection than airbag-equipped steering wheels.
If you are involved in a collision, quick-release steering wheels will not provide the same level of protection as an airbag-equipped steering wheel. They are likely to break If you are involved in a high-speed collision.
4. You could lose control of the car
Another potential downside of quick-release steering wheels is that you could lose control of the car if the quick-release mechanism comes undone while you are driving.
If you are involved in a collision and the quick-release steering wheel comes loose, you could lose control of the car and potentially cause an accident.
It must be noted that if you desire to change your steering wheel that has a fitted airbag, it must be with another with an airbag. Now, since these aftermarket steering wheels do not come with airbags, you cannot make that change.
Keep reading to find out more about why quick-release wheels don’t come with an airbag.
Why do quick-release steering wheels not come with airbags?
Are you wondering why quick-release steering wheels don’t come with an airbag? As quick-release steering wheels are not the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, they do not come with airbags.
1. Not approved by the car’s manufacturer
The quick-release steering wheel is an aftermarket part that is not approved by the car’s manufacturer. Therefore, it does not follow all the safety regulations that are required for OEM parts. It cannot be integrated with an airbag because an airbag design is unique to the vehicle and integral to a safety system.
This is one of the main reasons why quick-release steering wheels do not come with airbags.
2. Not road legal
Another reason is that quick-release steering wheels are not road legal. They are only meant for track use. That is why they do not need to have features like airbags, which are required for road cars.
Again, quick-release steering wheels are usually lighter than OEM steering wheels. This is because they are made of lighter materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. If quick-release steering wheels had airbags, they would be much heavier, which would defeat the purpose of using them in the first place.
4. Designed for use in race cars
Lastly, quick-release steering wheels are designed for use in race cars. Unlike traditional cars, racing cars do not have airbags. In racing cars, there is already 5-point, 6-point, or in some cases even 7-point seatbelts that help restrict the driver’s haywire motion in case of an accident.
Besides, the positioning of a steering wheel in a racing car makes it too close to the driver. Therefore, the inclusion of an airbag may even cause more harm in case of a crash.
Moreover, quick-release steering wheels do not come with airbags because the G-forces involved in racing would cause the airbag to deploy. Thus, airbags are entirely unnecessary and would be dangerous for both the driver and other competitors.
Why you cannot fit a quick-release steering wheel in a “streetcar”
I mentioned earlier that people argue that their cars cannot be stolen if they used rapid-release steering wheels. Fair enough! If your car did not come with an airbag from the factory, such as cars manufactured in the 90s, then you can legally change your steering wheel to an aftermarket one.
On the other hand, if your car originally came with an airbag, it is illegal in some countries and states and unsafe to replace your steering wheel with a quick-release one. Airbags have always been a top priority when it comes to safety while using a car.
I just want you to take a moment and picture this: let us say you manage to fit a quick-release steering wheel in your “streetcar”. So, you park your car and detach the steering wheel, with the airbag in it.
Do you know how dangerous this is?! Not. This about it this way: What if the airbag in the detached steering wheel gets deployed? It could cause great harm.
Generally, if you are replacing your steering wheel with a quick-release steering wheel, your best bet will also be to replace your seat with a 5-point harness.
Should you get a quick-release steering wheel?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. It depends on what you are using the quick-release steering wheel for. If you are planning to use it only on the track, then go ahead and get one.
But, if you want to use it on the street as well, I would recommend that you do not get one because quick-release steering wheels are not safe for street use.
This is because quick-release steering wheels do not have airbags and are not road legal. They are also designed for use in race cars, which do not have airbags.
So, if you are planning on getting one, I will recommend you get this cool quick-release steering wheel I found on amazon and make sure that you are using it only on the track. And, if you are using it on the street, make sure that you replace your seat with a racing seat and install a roll cage as well.
In conclusion, A quick-release steering wheel is not advisable if you are not a professional racer because it significantly decreases the safety of your car.
Moreover, if you get into an accident, and the quick-release steering wheel pops off, it can result in more serious injuries because quick-release steering wheels do not have airbags.
These steering wheels are fitted in racing cars, which are built in a way that absorbs crash energy effectively, without putting much harm to the occupants.
Thank you for reading.