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Seat Belts: An Explainer on What They Are and How They Work

We all grew up being told to wear our seat belts as soon as we get in the car. We’re told that seat belts are important to keep us safe. So we all have that baseline knowledge. However, do you know just how vital your seat belt actually is?

What Is A Seat Belt?

Of course, we should get into the technicalities before anything else. A seat belt is a wide, sturdy strap of webbing that cinches around a person’s torso and tucks away into a small buckle. The seat belt wraps securely around the driver and passengers, pulling tightly to absorb the energy of a sudden stop. 

A seat belt can basically keep a person safe during a sudden stop curing car accidents. It can make the biggest difference between minor injuries and flying through the windshield or whatnot. It can also be called a safety belt or seat belt.

Seat belts are essentially ideal for dealing with inertia.

What Is Inertia?

There’s a bit of science here we’ll need to cover. Inertia is the way an object will not stop moving unless another force actively goes against it. Things will naturally want to keep going, like a car driving down the street. Friction and air resistance slow it down a lot on the road, but that’s compensated for thanks to the engine.

A car’s inertia is different from that of its driver and passengers. Basically, if there’s a car crash, it means something has stopped the car. It doesn’t immediately follow that the impact has stopped the driver and the passengers. For this reason, a person not wearing a seatbelt strapped onto the vehicle can be at risk of stopping their inertia from another object.

Why Is the Seat Belt So Important?

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) did some research which found seat belts are able to save 13,000 lives, more or less, every year in the United States. They also say thousands of car accident fatalities could have been prevented if seat belts had been worn.

Statistics by the agency show that a car occupant in the passenger seat can have up to 50 percent less risk of death by simply wearing their seat belt.

Seat belts are secured to a car’s frame so that passengers-and the driver-can be safe. They have a shoulder belt, made to extend across the chest, and a lap belt that goes over one’s pelvis. Wearing it correctly is crucial to making a world of difference between safety and danger during travel.

It should be noted that it’s possible to get injured while wearing a seat belt. However, the severity of the injury will be considerably slashed if a seat belt is worn properly. These are the kind of injuries that seat belts make a person less at risk for:

  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash


Wearing a seat belt is something that’s been ingrained in us since childhood. A seatbelt is essentially a wide strap of webbing that locks in a buckle, secured to the car’s frame. It’s meant to keep people from being hurt when a car accident happens, or at least lowering their risk of severe injuries.

Does your seat belt need repair? Contact Safety Restore today! We’re the global leader in post-accident restorations, particularly with airbag modules and seat belt repairs.

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