Seatbelts were invented to protect vehicle occupants during accidents. These safety devices keep them from being ejected from the vehicle, which may cause serious injuries, and even death. However, car owners should also consider that seatbelts may cause injuries to car passengers. These situations happen when a defect is present in the seatbelt, causing seatbelt failure. Following are five common seatbelt defects found in vehicles today:
- Inertial unlatching â Some seatbelts unlatch suddenly after impact, releasing the seatbelt and endangering the life of the passenger. Latch buttons may also become too deep for the occupant to reach and push them. On the other hand, protruding release buttons may be accidentally pressed, unlatching the seatbelt.
- Seat-only and shoulder-only seat restraints â These types of seatbelts are usually called "incomplete" belts. This is because both seat restraints have their own individual weaknesses. Lap-only belts only protect the passenger's lower body, and put the upper body at risk. Meanwhile, shoulder latches may cause car occupants to slide down from their seats.
- Tearing of seatbelt â When the seatbelt is made of material that is easily torn apart, it may put the passenger's life in danger. All safety devices should be made of high quality materials.
- Unnecessary seatbelt slacks â Some drivers prefer loosing their belts in order to reach something inside their cars such as their cell phones, keys, etc. When the vehicle gets into an accident, these loosened seatbelts may fail to protect the car's occupants from injuries.
- Door-mounted belts â There are manufacturers who produced seatbelts that can be connected to the vehicle's doors. This is definitely not a good idea. If the door accidentally opens in an accident, the seatbelt would cause the passenger more trouble.
If you encountered a vehicle collision and your car's seatbelts were not able to protect you from sustaining injuries, they may have manufacturing or design defects. Let investigators examine your vehicle and identify if the manufacturer of the seatbelts can be held responsible for the accident.
Proving that a certain product is defective is much easier than proving fault in a personal injury claim. You just need to have the courage, determination, and patience in filing your complaint and requesting for compensation.