If you own a modern or relatively modern car, you’ve likely experienced the seat belt warning light and the ding that accompanies it at least once or twice (and probably a lot more!). However, you probably have never delved into how it is able to do so. Below I will describe just that for you!
The seat belt warning light is a very important and helpful tool. Sometimes, we speak on the phone or to our passengers, or we crank up the music pretty high. With those vocal distractions, it is sometimes hard to hear the ding of the seat belt as it reminds us to buckle in. That is why the seat belt warning light is so beneficial. It is likely that if we don’t happen to hear the seat belt sound over whatever is muffling it, we’ll at least see the glow of the seat belt light on our dashboard.
Now lets get down to what happens to initiate the seat belt warning light flashes. Inside the driver’s seat belt buckle in all vehicles, there is a switch that is triggered when the seat belt is fastened and unfastened. The car’s computer system monitors this switch and is able to tell when the driver has not secured his or her seat belt.
An important thing to note is that when an engine is started, the seat belt light usually flashes for a second or two (even if the seat belt is already secured). However, after those few seconds, the light immediately disappears. If the driver and/or front seat passenger is secured into their seat belt, the light should stay off.
Seat belts helps save countless lives every year. They are the primary form of safety in the event of an accident, and is required by almost every state in the United States to be buckled in. Every vehicle (except buses) has seat belts in them, making it a common feature in a car. However, when was the seat belt invented?
In 1959, an engineer at Volvo named Nils Bohlin invented the three-point seat belt. This was during a time where driver wore harnesses instead of seat belts. They were fitted in cars and took the form of a two-point waist restraint. Sadly, the two-point system actually did more damage than good at times.
Once invented, Volvo released the patent to any manufacturer to use in their vehicle design. As a result, the three-point seat belt was widely adopted. Volvo did this because they saw that the three-point seat belt has more potential as a free life saving tool rather than something they can make a profit off of. Alan Dessel, Volvo’s managing director said: “The decision to release the three-point seat belt patent was visionary and in line with Volvo’s guiding principle of safety.”
Since 1959, when the three-point seat belt was invented, the system saved millions of lives across not just the United States, but the world. It also prevented serious injuries, unlike the old two-point seat belts.
Seat belts reduce your chance of injury or death by 50 percent in the event of an accident. As a result, this invention has become the most successful contribution to the safety in motor vehicles in history.
Are you someone whose seat belt is stuck in the buckle? Perhaps it only happens sporadically and you are able to wiggle the belt out eventually with much might and patience. Fortunately, you don’t have to go about doing this for the rest of your life. If your seat belt is stuck in the buckle or gets this way even every so often, I have a solution for you. By following these simple steps, you will hopefully be able to get in and out of your seat belt much more smoothly and not have to worry about a stuck seat belt any longer.
To begin with, most seat belt jams are a result of sticky residue buildup that has accumulated over time inside the seat belt assembly. Usually, the solution to this problem lies in applying some sort of lubrication. Even a small amount goes a long way and generally is all that is needed to unjam a stuck safety belt.
To unjam your stuck seat belt, you’ll want to get your hands on a bottle of WD-40 or generic lubricant.
Start by spraying a small amount of the WD-40 or lubricant into the entry of the seat belt pretensioner—otherwise known as the buckle. Make sure not to spray the actual seat belt material or other internal aspects of your vehicle, because the oil can leave a noticeable stain.
Once you have sprayed it, let the WD-40 sit for a few minutes. Then, hold down and release the buckle button. The buckle should easily become undone in a swift and smooth motion.
You’ll then want to reconnect the seat belt with the buckle in order for it to lock into place. Pull against the safety belt to ensure that the buckle is clasped and secure.
Finally, soak the end of a Q-tip in some rubbing alcohol. Rub the Q-tip inside the front opening of the seat belt buckle and remove any gooey scum that is found in the buckle.
To prevent future seat belt jams, you’ll want to keep both the seat belt buckle and the metal fastener on the end of the actual belt clean.
You may be buckling in and out of your seat belt every day (and perhaps five or six times at that!) but have you ever stopped to think about the seat belt assembly and what the different parts that make up the entirety of the seat belt are? Today I will explain just that. There are a few main parts to the seat belt: the pretensioner, the retractor, the pillar loop, and the material webbing. All are equally important in the assembly and functionality of the seat belt.
To start with, the pretensioner is one of the most important components of the seat belt. It is otherwise simply known as the seat belt “buckle”. This is the female part of a safety belt that secures and releases the retractor, or tongue, of the seat belt that is attached to the material webbing. It is manufactured to hold the retractor in a firm position so that it has no chance of unbuckling on its own. It also allows for the seat belt to be fastened and unfastened with very little force by the user. If someone needs to free themselves from their seat belt, the seat belt buckle should be easy to unbuckle and maneuver out of.
Another important component that was briefly mentioned is the seat belt retractor. This is the male portion of the seat belt that actually fits into the seat belt pretensioner. It attaches to the material webbing.
Of course, the material webbing is also very important. Seat belts are designed so that the webbing can reach across an occupants lap and over their chest and shoulders. This allows for the force from a possible collision to be spread across the body rather than be focused on one single area—thus causing more serious injury. Usually, the material webbing is made from polyester and has a large tensile strength to support quite a bit of weight.
Finally there is the pillar loop. Although this portion of a seat belt is smaller in comparison to the other components, it serves an important function. It is used in 3-point seat belt systems and is located above the shoulder of an occupant. Its main purpose it to guide the webbing over the shoulder and across the occupant’s chest, so as to provide that maximum security that was mentioned above.
If you are experiencing issues with your seat belt and are not able to properly pull it out, do not fret. Fortunately for you, there are a few ways how to get a seat belt buckle unstuck.
To begin with, a seat belt can be stuck due to two reasons: a) the problem may lie in the retractor being locked and b) dirt or grime may have accumulated on the seat belt, causing it to retract slower than usual and not all the way.
For the latter, a simple cleaning will hopefully fix the problem. Before applying soap or a spray-on cleaner, make sure to retract the seat belt all the way and attach a clamp or some sort of grip. That way, the seat belt will not retract back in while cleaning it. When you have clamped it, you can begin scrubbing the material webbing. If you are willing, let as much of the seat belt soak in a bucket of soapy water for a few hours, and then allow enough time for it to dry. Just make sure that you have thoroughly washed out the mixture from your belts, to avoid a sticky residue or fading in the sunlight.
If the problem is due to the retractor, there is also a solution. First, pull on the webbing as tight as you can and give it an extra big yank to undo the locked belt. If this attempt does not work, you’ll have to remove the retractor out of your car and use a screwdriver to spin the spool manually. This will allow the webbing material to slowly retract back into the seat belt assembly.
The way that airbags work is by detecting whether or not an occupant is seated on the airbag’s corresponding seat. If there is someone seated in the seat, the manufacturer expects that a seat belt will be worn. If no one is sitting in that seat, the seat belt will clearly not be used and therefore nor will the airbag turn on for that seat. Some manufacturers do have sensors in place in the actual seat that turn the airbag on if a specified minimum weight is placed on the seat. Regardless, full inflation force will be deployed out of the airbag if it detects an unbelted average adult. However, if the airbag detects an occupant who is lightweight—like a small child for example—it may only deploy at a reduced force. It may even not deploy at all, depending on the way it was designed and whether or not the belt was used to avoid injuries from the airbag. As already explained, the airbag should not deploy if the sensors detect no occupant or use of a seat belt. A good thing to remember, though, is that modern airbag systems are still being constantly improved. Airbags may work in a large percentage of cases, but there can be times they aren’t as successful.
If you are having problems with your seat belt vs airbag, this is something you should not ignore. Seat belts and airbags are the primary and secondary restraint systems in your vehicle, and mechanisms that should not be taken lightly. For seat belts in particular, you can either purchase new ones at the dealer or get them repaired at the company Safety Restore. The latter option is much more affordable and will yield the same results. You can rest assured that Safety Restore has quality and safety in mind when it performs the repairs. The company only uses industry standard tools and 100% OEM parts. It is also BBB accredited and carefully makes sure to meet FMVSS standards. To get seat belt repair, simply log onto safetyrestore.com! There you can purchase the service, before shipping out your belts to the company.
As many people know, seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury by about 50%. Therefore it is crucial for both drivers and passengers alike to wear one at all times. For women who are pregnant, wearing a seat belt correctly is especially important. Depending on the severity of the injury, being involved in a vehicular accident can increase the risk of serious pregnancy complication such as placental abruption, premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), preterm labor, miscarriage, or even stillbirth. Below are a few seat belt tips you should follow if you are pregnant.
#1. To begin with, you will probably be safest wearing a lap and shoulder belt combination, as this provides the most protection. Other belts can be worn too, but this type is recommended.
#2. The way the lap belt would be worn is below your belly, touching your thighs. It should be placed low and snug on your hips. Failing to wear it this way may result in less protection.
#3. Your belt should never be worn above or across your belly.
#4. You should always make sure to wear the shoulder belt snugly across the middle of your chest and shoulder.
#5. You should refrain from slipping the shoulder belt behind your back or beneath your arm at any time. Even though this is sometimes an impulsive thing to do for more comfort, remember that it will leave you less protected.
#6. If you are the driver, make sure your belly is situated a safe distance from the airbag. At least 10 inches should separate your breastbone from the dashboard or steering wheel. Of course, as your belly grows you may find yourself needing to move your seat back more to be seated safely.
#7. If your car has been recently involved in an accident, you want to make sure that your seat belts along with everything else in your car is still properly working. If your seat belts have deployed, your airbag module may have stored crash data and hard codes. For this, an airbag module reset would be necessary. The company Safety Restore provides airbag module reset services for only a fraction of the price a dealer charges! The quality is impeccable too. Get your airbag module reset at Safety Restore so that you and your belly could be driving safely.