Seat Belt Failure: What It Is and How to Detect It

Posted by Artem Martynyuk on

Every year, seat belts save the lives of almost 15,000 people in motor vehicle accidents. In 2018, about 90% of people in the United States used a seat belt when riding in a motor vehicle. With numbers like these, it's easy to fall into a false sense of security. After all, the wearing of your seat belt and the following traffic laws should essentially ensure your and your family's safety, right? In this blog post, we're going to go over common reasons for seat belt failure and how they might affect you if you're injured because of a seat belt defect.

Seat Belt Failure: What It Is and How to Detect It

If a seat belt fails, it either breaks or doesn't restrain you in the event of a collision. This failure can cause serious harm in several ways. If you're thrown from your seat, you may strike your head or become violently shaken or bruised. You may also strike your head against the windshield or another hard surface in the vehicle. If you're not restrained, and your body flies around inside the vehicle, you may be injured by sharp or perforated objects.

Causes of Seat Belt Failure

1 - False Latches

The most common cause of seat belt failure is a bad seat belt buckle or latch, which could be simple or double-action. Double-action latches are designed to make it easier for the driver and passengers to fasten them. However, these double-action latches make it possible for a passenger or driver to release or open the latch while in motion. A driver must then engage the latch fully before pulling the seat belt out of its recess.

2 - Worn Straps Or Seats

In most cases, seat belts have a lifespan of about 20 years, after which they need to be replaced. Minor wear and tear can occur on a seat belt throughout its lifespan, but if it's worn too much, the belt may not function properly. Additionally, the weight of your body pushing against a seat belt can cause it to rip or fray.

3 - Poor Maintenance

Proper maintenance is another key component of seat belt safety. If your seat belt is not regularly inspected for tears or frays, the seat belt may fail to protect you in a collision.

Dangers of Seat Belt Failure

Apart from the obvious harms of not wearing a seat belt, failure of a seat belt can cause other injuries. For example, if your seat belt fails to restrain you properly, you may strike your head, your abdomen, or the steering wheel. If your seat belt does not hold you securely in the event of a collision, you might be thrown around in your seat. This could cause you to strike the steering wheel, break your nose, or even suffer a fatal head injury.

How to Detect Seat Belt Failure

In conclusion, it is worth noting that identifying a defective seat belt is not always easy. You may not be able to tell if your seat belt is worn or if it's working properly without having someone intentionally or accidentally cause an accident. Your best bet is to take your car to a seat belt restore shop to have your entire safety system checked.

If you need your seat belts checked, come to RepairMySRS! We are an accident restoration company specializing in resetting SRS airbag modules and seat belt repairs on retractors, SRS repair services, and tensioners and buckles. We provide our services nationwide using our bulletproof mail-in system, which guarantees a 24-hour turnaround! If you need your SRS airbag module reset or seat belts repaired, simply checkout online and send in your parts to our MA location.

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