What causes seat belt failure and the best ways to avoid it

Wearing a seatbelt is important for your safety, but it can be hard to remember. It’s not always easy to wear your seat belt every time you get in the car. Sometimes you’re rushing out of the house and forget or sometimes you just don’t want to wear it because it’s hot outside. Either way, have you wondered what causes the seat belt to malfunction? Not wearing your seat belt might cause you to die in an accident. You could also be seriously injured because you weren’t properly protected when the car crashed.

Safety belt is important in any kind of crash, even if it’s just turning at an intersection and tipping over in a parking lot. So let’s look at different causes behind seat belt failure and the most effective ways to avoid a seat belt malfunction next time you’re in your vehicle.

Worn out belts

If your seat belt is too old, it might not protect you in an accident. Seat belts that are more than six years old can stretch and weaken over time. So if you ever see your seat belts starting to fray or the fabric getting thin, you need to get a new seat belt. Now, it ‘s not just how old your seatbelt is, but also how many times it has been deployed in an accident. So if you ever crash your car, then replace your belts with new ones. Now, if you don’t need to replace your belts, make sure you check them over once a year for any signs of wear.

Poorly designed seat belts

Seat belts can also fail because they aren’t designed to function correctly in a crash. For example, the seat belt retractor is what you pull on when you want to tighten your seat belt and release it when you need more room in the car. If there’s too much slack in the belt or if it’s not holding tight enough, it can come out of the retractor when you need it most in an accident. This is why it’s also important to know your seat belt. You should be able to identify all the parts that make up your seat belts. It’s highly recommended that you go over your seat belt, buckle up on all occasions and learn how to use it before you get into the car. On a different note, always make a point of buying seat belts or getting a repair done by the UK’s leading safety belt manufacturer.

Badly fitted belts

Wearing a belt that’s not correctly fitted can also cause injury in an accident. If it’s too long, then there might be extra slack on the lap strap which could cause it to move around your hips and injure you. Also, if it’s too short, then the force from a crash could cause it to cut right into your neck or stomach area. In this case, always make sure you’re buckling up as tight as possible so that there is no slack in the belt at all. If you feel like your seat belt isn’t fitted correctly, make sure you go see a professional to get it readjusted.

False latching

The false latching is the incorrect fastening of the seat belt. If you buckle up but it isn’t fastened correctly then the seat belt is not doing its job at all. The latch plate should be inserted into the buckle and the tongue should be locked, otherwise you won’t get any protection in an accident. With that being said, it’s up to you to make sure that the latch plate goes into the buckle and locks. On the surface, your latching system may look perfectly fine, but if you don’t make a point of testing it, then you won’t know for sure. With that being said, it’s up to you to always test your seat belt every time before you get into the car and ask yourself if everything is working properly.

Faulty Anchorage point

Defective anchorage assembly is when your car seat belt isn’t securely attached to the right places in your car. If you look at any of these points closely, you will realise that they can fail or break away in an accident. It’s absolutely essential that you check your vehicle to see if the anchorage points are safe. If they are damaged, then it’s important you contact a professional right away so they can do some seat belt repairs or seat belt replacement for you. Now if they are not damaged, then make sure they are tested regularly.

You would think that if you’ve gone to a professional and they’ve already done the repair work, then there wouldn’t be any problems. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case because some professionals do shoddy work and it will start coming apart as soon as you get into an accident. So make sure you double check to see if there is anything amiss. 

Obstructed path to buckle

When there’s an obstruction between the seat belt buckle and your body, then things can go wrong for you in an accident. This means that the buckle might not open or close properly because something has got stuck in it. On that note, make sure you always keep your buckle clear of any foreign objects. If you don’t, then it might not go into or out of the buckle properly and that will pose a serious danger to your life in an accident.

It’s important to always have your vehicle checked by experts who can do any repairs if need be. This is why you should only trust the best seat belt repairing companies for getting the job done. 

Belts with loose connections

When your seat belts are loose, they may start coming apart when you get in an accident. If this happens, then the chances are that you will be thrown around inside the car or outside of it which can lead to fatal injuries. Whenever you buckle up, always check to see if the connection is tight. If it’s loose, then it’s a problem that needs to be addressed by a professional right away.

Lap only seat belts

Lap only seat belts are a minimum requirement in a vehicle . If this is the type of belt that you have in your vehicle, then it’s worth investigating whether a new 3 point seat belt can be fitted for extra protection.. You need to always buckle up with both the lap belt and shoulder harness together for maximum protection. Well, that should be a given – you wouldn’t want anything to happen to yourself or your loved ones. 

Post-accident malfunction 

If you are involved in an accident, then it’s essential to make sure that your seat belts work properly for you. If they fail or break after the accident has taken place, then this will pose a problem for you. It’s well worth getting all of your seat belts checked immediately. If you don’t, then there is a serious chance that your seat belts may start to malfunction and not work properly in the future. Now, if you get your seat belt repaired immediately, then this won’t be a problem for you at all.

Retractor failure

It’s absolutely crucial that your retractor is fully functional when you’re on the road. A retractor is essentially designed to lock when you have sudden forces during a ride, and it helps secure both driver or passenger from leaning forward into impact by holding them at their respective positions with complete certainty each time we hit some more forceful bumps in traffic. When you’re driving, it locks in and secures positions so that passengers can rest assured their belts will work properly during powerful collisions with other vehicles or objects around them if need be. If your seat belt cannot keep you in the same position during a collision , it will be useless. It can potentially cause serious injuries or even death, which is why it’s recommended that you have this checked regularly.

Seat belts are essential for your safety when you’re on the road. Always try to keep in mind the aforementioned causes behind seat belt failure and make sure that your seat belt works properly to keep you safe. If you have any problems with your seat belt, be sure to get it fixed right away. Don’t take any chances with your safety – buckle up every time!

 

If you notice anything wrong with your car seats’ safety features, contact us today at sales@orionsafetybelts.co.uk. We’re here to help drivers find solutions for their diverse range of vehicle safety and maintenance needs.

 

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