Seat belts have been in our vehicles for decades, with legislation requiring that we buckle up every trip.
Most of us don’t think about them, and just assume we’ll never need them. But whether it’s drivers distracting themselves with mobile calls/texts, or fantasizing NASCAR racetrack fun on lumpy city streets, crashes DO occur. The CDC tells us that seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45% and serious injury by 50%. That’s reassuring.
But what’s troubling is seat belts don’t always work. Say WHAT? FACT: the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 3 million people each year suffer injuries and 40,000 people die because of seat belts that fail during crashes.
How can that happen?
Well, several reasons. The webbing in your seat belt can wear out over time and need replacement. Even minor wear and tear can weaken the webbing, which can tear in an accident – leaving you unprotected and heading for the windshield. Or the retractor (the mechanism that locks your seatbelt in place during a crash) fails. Or you put off dealing with that little red warning light on your dashboard because – like many people – you didn’t realize it was signaling a problem with the SRS module (commonly called the air bag module) impacting both your seat belt and air bag systems. Any malfunction in that module puts you and your passengers at serious risk. Now, you should be able to trust that repairs or re-sets to your seat belt system are 100% reliable.
Unfortunately, we have seen far too many dubious seat belt “repairs”; substandard webbing, incorrect parts, or even damaged components left in place and re-assembled to “just get it working again” (also known as “getting the seatbelt unlocked”). If your seat belt ever gets locked up – whether in a crash, or just by hitting a pothole – chances are there is also damage inside that assembly. Paying for quality repair work is worth it because you are.
We don’t take seat belt safety for granted, nor should you. We do look forward to seeing you on the road again, able to step on it and enjoy the ride!