ABOUT SEATBELTS – THE LIFE SAVER
Seatbelts help reduce the risk of injury in many types of crashes by helping to properly position occupants, while the seat belt is designed to stretch at a controlled rate to absorb impact energy and reduce the severity of the occupant’s deceleration. Studies show that seatbelts reduce the overall risk for serious injuries in crashes by about 60%, and seatbelts reduce the risk for fatalities by approximately 45%. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S., and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in the United States alone, seat belts save more than 12,500 lives each year, and prevent over 300,000 serious injuries.
Seat Belt Types
A seat belt, also known as a safety belt, can have two anchorage points or three anchorage points, and can be non-retractable or a retractable type.
Two-point seat belt
A two-point belt attaches at it’s two ends.
A lap belt goes over the waist.
Shoulder or Sash Belt
A shoulder or sash belt goes diagonally over the occupant’s chest and shoulder.
Three-point seat belt
A three-point seat belt is a Y shaped belt that is the combination of a lap belt and a sash belt. In a collision the 3-point belt spreads out the energy of the moving body over the chest, pelvis, and shoulders. Volvo introduced the first three-point belt into production in 1959.
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Webbing for Seat Belts
Webbing is the part of the seat belt system that is pulled around the person and is tightened to support the person upon impact. It is made from polyester and has a tensile strength to support more than 28 kNw.
Retractors for Seat Belts
The retractor is the winding mechanism that spools the seat belt webbing, allowing the webbing to be withdrawn or pulled back into the retractor. It also locks the webbing in place upon a crash, to restrain and help protect the passenger. The retractor has two sensors: one sensor locks the webbing when it is pulled out of the retractor at a faster rate tan normal, the other sensor locks the webbing when the car brakes or accelerates quickly.
The buckle is the piece of the seat belt system that secures and releases the tongue, which is attached to the webbing. The buckle is designed to hold the tongue firmly and allow the seat belt to be fastened and unfastened with very little force. It is also designed so that another person can easily remove the tongue from the buckle and free the passenger after a crash.
Seat Belt Tongues
The tongue is the piece that is attached to the webbing and fits into the buckle to secure the seat belt.
Seat Belt Pillar Loops
The pillar loop is used in a 3-point seat belt system. It is the piece above the shoulder of the passenger, and is used to guide the webbing over the shoulder and across the chest of the passenger.