Seat belts save lives. This has been shown again and over. The NHTSA reports seat belts saved 14,955 lives in 2017. In 2018, 89.6% of Americans wore seat belts. It’s easy to feel like everything is OK with these stats. Buckling up and following the road rules should be enough to keep you and your family safe, right? This article will go over seat belt failure and the five common causes of seat belt failure.
What is Seat Belt Failure?
Seat belt failure when your seat belt is inadequately set to protect you in an acciden. This is a drastic and undesirable outcome for anyone involved in the accident. Now, there are two types of seat belt failure:
- Failure to use. This means that the driver or passenger never used their seat belt in the first place. This can be for several reasons, but some of the most common reasons are that the person simply failed to use it or never put it on in the first place.
- Failure of the belt. This occurs when the seat belt itself doesn’t work correctly or doesn’t hold the person in the vehicle during the accident.
Here are the most common causes of seat belt failure:
1. Missing Buckle
A seat belt must buckle to provide the proper level of protection. This is a fact. If you’re in a car accident and your seat belt does not buckle, it will not protect you as it’s supposed to. The buckle provides the primary attachment point for the rest of the seat belt system. If the buckle is missing, then the rest of your seat belt system is missing, which means that the seat belt won’t be there to protect you in an accident.
2. Broken Buckle
This is much the same as a missing buckle. A broken buckle will not provide proper protection in an accident and will not be able to hold you in your seat in the same way it’s supposed to. It takes one moment of distraction for a sharp edge of the broken buckle to cause the damage required to make it unusable. If you’re in a car crash due to broken buckles, you will not be able to use the seat belt properly.
3. Broken Mounting Point
The mounting point on your vehicle is crucial to the proper functioning of your seat belt, as it connects the seat belt to the seat of your car. This is often the point of failure for your seat belt. If the mounting point is broken or damaged, the seat belt won’t fit right and won’t be able to protect you and keep you in your seat in an accident.
4. Missing Mounting Point
This problem comes up quite frequently in older or poorly maintained vehicles. A missing mounting point can render the seat belt on that side of the car useless. This is a dangerous situation because the seat belt won’t be able to hold you in place during an accident, and you are much more likely to get hurt or even die.
5. Sticking Buckle
A binding or sticking buckle is a problem that doesn’t seem like much at first but can become a severe problem in a hurry. If your seat belt buckle doesn’t function properly, it will not hold the car in your seat during an accident. This creates a situation where you are much more likely to be injured or become fatal.
Seat belt failure is a prevalent problem that occurs for several reasons. You can, however, take steps to make sure that your seat belt will buckle adequately and keep you in your seats during a crash, protecting you and your family. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that your seat belt is good.
If you discover a problem with your seat belts, you can always rely on the pros at Seat Belt Restore to assist you. We are a seat belt repair shop in Los Angeles, California. Visit us now to get the seat belt replacement or repair you need!