Despite what some may tell you, wearing a seatbelt really is going to save your life – there are statistics to prove it. You need to look after your seatbelts.
How To Look After Your Seatbelt
1. How Often Should I Check My Seatbelts?
You should be checking your seatbelts ever six months, and if you have had an accident recently you should check it to make sure that it is still working properly. If you buy a used car, one of the things you should be looking at is accident history and seatbelt functionality.
2. How Does The Material Look?
If the material that you are looking at seems to have been cut, is looking frayed or overly worn in places then it most likely needs replacing. Making sure you have Clean Car Seat Belts is going to make it easier to spot when they are in a worsening condition.
3. Does The Buckle Work?
Is it chipped or rusty? Does it buckle and unbuckle easily? If it is not working properly you need to replace it – if it were to not hold in an accident the consequences could be serious, and the same holds true for it not releasing when it needs to after an accident.
4. Does It Extend And Retract OK?
Does your seatbelt pull out as far as it should go? Does it retract how it should? If it doesn’t this is going to majorly impact how it performs in an accident, where it is absorbing the force of your body moving. The spool in the retractor mechanism may need replacing.
5. Does The Locking Mechanism Work?
When the car suddenly stops the locking mechanism in your belt retractor spool stops the belt from extending out, which is going to stop you from slamming into the dashboard. If it doesn’t work you need to replace it.
Why Wear Seatbelts?
1. They Save Lives
The NHTSA says that 14,955 lives were saved by seatbelts in 2017, and a similar number were saved in 2016. 47% of people killed in car accidents in 2017 weren’t wearing seatbelts. It’s easy to see the benefits of wearing one.
2. Keeps Occupants Inside
Your seatbelt keeps you in the vehicle, and that is important. The notion that getting thrown clear improves your chance of survival is false. Your chance of dying increases fourfold when you exit the vehicle. You are unprotected from other vehicles moving around at that point.
3. Restrains Strongest Parts Of The Body
They work to restrain the strongest part of the body, and that is where they should make contact with you. On an adult and older children that are going to be the hips and shoulders.
4. Spreads Out Force From The Collision
All that force that might affect one area of the body gets spread out. This means there is less stress on a particular body part, and it reduces the chances of a serious injury.
5. Helps The Body Slow Down
That belt is going to help you slow down, and that reduces the speed at which you are going to hit anything, which will reduce injury. Speed is one of the main factors that determine the severity of the injury.
6. Protects Brain And Spinal Cord
Your brain and your spine, if damaged are going to have a huge effect on your life, so the seatbelt focuses on protecting them. They are both vital systems that affect multiple functions in your body.
Making sure your seatbelts work is not hard, and it is worth the effort because they can be the difference between life and death in an accident.