US 2004 Owner's Manual has quite a section on both seat belts and the air bag system (air bags on pages 63-77). My reading is that there are different sensors, one for the front air bags (that go off in tandem), and another for the side/curtain airbags (since the diagrams for which situation they will deploy in are almost reversed).GlacierBobby said:"Well, the airbags are explosive devices, intended to be detonated electrically. Like any explosive, it could be unintentionally detonated by other means"
I hope they are immune to lightning strikes! The Prius is a Faraday cage so it should be safe. Does the Prius set them off in a chain reaction or does each bag have its own sensor. Have not found much in the literature re their construction / operation / safety.