How do seatbelts work

How do seatbelts work

A “seatbelt” is a strong mesh lap belt that has a shoulder belt connected to it. The seatbelt and the shoulder belt are securely attached to the frame of the auto.

Basically, to make a seatbelt work properly, you should sit in an upright position on the seat of the auto. Reach up and pull the shoulder/seatbelt from its retracting holder, then pull it out and around your body. Insert the tab on the latch plate into the buckle until you hear it make a clicking sound. Then, adjust the seatbelt so that it fits low around your hips.

The shoulder belt should cross your shoulder, collar bone, and chest. In order for these safety devices to work properly, both the seatbelt and the shoulder belt should fit snugly, but not be tight or uncomfortable. When you are buckled in, you should be able to move forward slightly.

In case of an auto accident, a seatbelt is designed to perform two life-saving tasks. First, it restrains you in your seat so that you are not ejected from the auto. And second, a seatbelt helps to actually slow your body down in order to prevent injuries, or, at least lessen injuries so they are not as severe.

How does a seatbelt slow your body down during an auto accident? When you are riding in an auto, your body is, of course, traveling at the same rate of speed as the auto is traveling. But, if the auto should be stopped suddenly, as in hitting a stationary object such as a tree, your body does not stop too. Instead, it continues to keep moving at the same rate of speed it was moving. This is caused by “inertia.”

Inertia is a term used in Physics that can be defined as “the tendency of an object to maintain its rate of motion until it is acted upon by an external force.” In other words, your body continues to move until a stationary object inside the auto stops it. Unfortunately, if you are not wearing a seat belt, the object might well be a steering wheel, dashboard, or the auto’s windshield. If, however, you have the protection of a seatbelt, it is designed to tighten up and spread out the force of the stopover a wide portion of your body. Specifically, your shoulder, rib cage, pelvis, collar bone, hips, and other strong, bony parts, if the seat belt is worn properly.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, (NHTSA), wearing a seatbelt saves more than ten thousand lives in the United States alone each and every year. Unfortunately, on the flip side, the administration also estimates that seatbelts could have saved nearly as many crash victims, had they been wearing seatbelts. The NHTSA also estimates that wearing a seatbelt while riding in the front seat of an auto can reduce the risk of being fatally injured by approximately fifty percent.

The only way that seatbelts can do their jobs is if you wear them each and everytime that you get into an auto. You need to wear a seatbelt even if you’re going on a quick drive to the market, or to the school to pick up your kids, for example. Because, according to statistics, most auto accidents happen within twenty-five miles of your home.

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