Seat Belt Safety

Buckle up or pay up, click it or ticket, strap in or cash out. Whatever the public service announcement, the law is clear. If you are riding in an automobile, you must be wearing a seat belt, or you will face heavy fines. The law was implemented not to restrain a passenger’s freedom to roam about the car, but to promote safety. Simply put, seat belts save lives – that is, when they function correctly. A misused or faulty seatbelt can cause serious injury during an auto collision.

Seat Belt Failure

A seat belt is meant to prevent passengers from being ejected from a vehicle during collision. It is also supposed to limit the amount of violent movement within the vehicle during the crash. When a seat belt that is being worn properly does not perform these functions, it has failed. Seat belt failure can be caused by defective construction, as well as:

  • Inertial unlatching
  • Inadvertent or unintentional unlatching
  • Excessive seat belt slack
  • Lap-only belts that fail to restrain the torso

Lap-only Belts

The particular danger of lap-only belts is that they fail to restrain the torso of the passenger during a collision. This could lead to serious or even fatal internal injuries, spinal damage, facial fractures, and brain damage. The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that lap-only belts cause injury and even death due to “jack-knifing.” The auto industry did not begin to equip backseats with shoulder straps until the late 1980’s, meaning that many unsafe seat belts are still on the road today.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident because of a faulty seat belt, contact the Kenosha car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 866.499.4700 to discuss your case and further legal options.