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Let's Talk Seatbelts

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Let's Talk Seatbelts

Terry Brown
May 30, 2006

So what is a seat belt? Well, for some, this is also called as a safety belt. It is a harness that has been specially and specifically designed so as to hold the occupant or the passenger of a car or vehicle in place. This is very important especially if a collision or a crash occurs. They have been created as such so as to help out reduce injuries. This is done by stopping the passenger from hitting the hard interior of the car or also from being thrown out of the vehicle itself.

Did you know that there are mandatory seat belt laws right now? Now, you know. Well, all states actually except New Hampshire. So aside from not keeping your chances of surviving a car crash greater but you also are increasing your chances of getting a ticket while driving.

To actually adjust your seatbelt so that it would be comfortable for you and at the same time would provide you with great protection, try moving the seat back of your car as far back as possible. Remember that the further you actually are from the steering wheel and the dashboard, the less likely that you are going to hit them during a collision. In car crashes, one way of lessening your chances of surviving is getting caught in between your seat and the steering wheel.

Before you put on your seat belt, try untwisting it first. This is to actually control the force of the impact with your belt. On the other hand, if you put on a twisted belt, you have reduced the area that can absorb the force. This should be kept in mind not only when using shoulder belts but lap belts as well.

Fit your lap belt low across your hips and not just on your belly. And make sure that they are tight. Remember that in an anatomy lesson, your hipbones are very large and strong. They can take more strain of a collision compared to your midsection. Your shoulder strap should also fit in snugly. Make sure that it crosses your collarbone.

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