The seat belt is the first line of defense in keeping you safe in the event of an accident. But you may be asking yourself how a seat belt works. Let’s dive in.
In a seat belt system, the webbing is connected to a retractor mechanism. Attached to one of the ends of the webbing is the spool. This is the main element in the retractor. Inside the retractor is a spring that applies rotation force, or better known as torque, to the spool. This is what causes the spool to rotate, winding up any loose webbing.
The seat belt retractor has a locking mechanism that stops the spool from rotating. The retractor can be triggered by the car’s movement. The spool locks when the vehicle decelerates rapidly, like when the vehicle is in a collision. The retractor can also be triggered by something jerking the seat belt webbing.
In some newer seat belt systems, a pretensioner does the job of tightening the seat belt webbing. Unlike the conventional locking mechanism in a retractor that simply keeps the belt from extending any further than it is before the accident, a pretensioner tightens any slack that may exist. It pulls in the seat belt webbing. When an accident occurs, the gas in the pretensioner ignites, causing the pressure that builds up to rotate the retractor. Pulling back any slack in the seat belt puts the individual firm in their seat to minimize the damage that person may receive during the accident. Pretensioner works together with the conventional locking mechanisms, rather than in place of them.
Now that you know more about how a seat belt works, it is safe to say that it is important to have all the mechanisms working and in good condition. If you are ever in an accident, you want to be fully protected. Safety Restore is a company that offers many services including seat belt webbing replacement, seat belt repair, airbag module reset, and more. They repair with 100% OEM parts and have a lifetime warranty. Stay safe on the road, and make sure your seat belt is working properly.