SEAT BELT DEFECTS

 

Properly working Seat belts perform a central role in occupant protection. If built correctly, seat belts should restrain the occupant by limiting movement within the vehicle during the crash event.  Not it is almost common knowledge that properly working seat belts save lives and reduce the chances that one will be injured in a crash.   This increased knowledge has directly led to increase use of seatbelts which has brought to light the situations when the seatbelts don’t work properly and are not built right.

A few examples these defects are as follows:

  • Inadvertent unlatching
    • Inadvertent unlatching occurs when something inside the vehicle accidentally depresses the press button for the seat belt buckle, causing the buckle to release the tongue during the accident event.  It could be a part of the car that depresses the press button or parts of the body.  The design of the buckle housing and the press button can contribute to the occurrence of an inadvertent or accidental unlatching and manufactures should take this into account when designing the system.
  • False Latching
    • False latching is a situation where the user inserts the tongue into the buckle and believes the buckle is fully engaged, when it is not.  This belief is generated by the resistance felt by the user.   If an accident occurs when the seatbelt is in the false latch position, the occupant will be effectively unrestrained and any force exerted on the belt will pull the latch plate right out of the latch.
  • Inertial Unlatching-
    • There are countless  cars in America that have seat belts with the release button on the front face of the buckle. In some collisions, frontal, rollovers, offset frontals and some side impacts, the release mechanism can be disengaged by the forces generated in those accidents when the back of the buckle hits part of the seat structure or part of the human body or is simply subjected to forces and gravity in certain rollover events.
  • Lap-Only Belts
    • The lap belt only is seen the back seat some vehicles and it fails to restrain the top portion of a persons body when frontal collisions occur.  These lap  Lap-only two-point seat belts fail to restrain the upper torso. This can lead to fatal internal injuries, spinal damage, facial fractures, brain damage, and death.
  • Spool-out
    • Seat belts are designed to lock when the vehicle experiences a certain level of deceleration, such as that associated with a crash. If the seat belt cbes not lock up properly, then there may be a problem with the seat belt retractor.

 

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