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Seat Belt Design and Safety

“Seat Belts Save Lives.” One might believe that this well known slogan would be effective in ensuring that passengers in automobiles would always protect themselves with the simple click of a belt. Yet studies show that a shocking 63% of people killed in car accidents were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Surprisingly, even individuals who do wear a seat belt while riding in an automobile often do so incorrectly, continuing to put themselves at risk. There are a number of different seat belt designs, and using each design correctly can help reduce your chances of being injured in an automobile collision.

Types of Seatbelts

While many designs have been used over the years, the most common seat belt designs used today are lap belts, three-point belts, and belt-in-seat (BIS).

Lap belts

Lap belts are frequently found in older cars, in passenger aircrafts, and occasionally in the back seats of certain types of cars. They are made of an adjustable strap that fits over the waist. However, most automobile manufacturers have traded the lap belt design for either three-point belts or the BIS design.

To wear a lap belt correctly, the belt should be worn low across the pelvic bone and NOT higher up across the stomach.

Three-point belts

Three-point belts are made of one continuous piece of material that fits over a passenger’s lap and also over their shoulder. These belts are one of the safest designs because, in the event of a collision, the energy of the body moving forward is spread out over the pelvis, chest, and shoulders. While this design has been common in front seats for some time, many manufacturers have installed them in backseats as well, as they are safer than lap belts.

To safely wear a three-point belt, the belt should fit snugly over the lap and the shoulder strap should remain across the chest of the passenger, and never tucked behind the passenger

Belt-In-Seat (BIS)

Similar to the three-point belt, the BIS design involves a continuous length of webbing, but is attached to the back of the seat itself, and not to the frame of the car.

These belts are worn the same as three-point belts.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to defective seat belts, contact the Stevens Point seat belt defect attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1- 800-248-0171 today to schedule a consultation.