Seat belts, sometimes referred to as safety belts, are intended to secure passengers in the vehicle from harm in the event of an accident or an abrupt stop. They are an essential component in the overall occupant restraint system; seat belts are designed to reduce injuries and fatalities by stopping the passenger wearing the restraint from hitting the interior parts of the vehicle, other passengers or being thrown out of the vehicle.
Occasionally, a passenger will suffer an injury regardless of whether they are wearing a seat belt or not. If you or a family member was injured in a North Carolina auto accident, you may be eligible to file a legal claim against the negligent party that caused you harm.
For more information about auto accident legal claims, complete the Free Case Review form to your left.
Seat Belt Designs
Depending on the type of motor vehicle, its purpose and its age, there are many different types of seat belts. Some different kinds of seat belts include lap belts, sash belts, automatic seat belts, three-point belts, belt-in-seat (BIS), five-point harnesses, and six-point harnesses. The most widely used seat belt designs are lap belts, shoulder belts and the three-point seat belt.
Three Point Seat BeltA lap belt is an adjustable strap that goes over the waist. Typically, these types of belt are used in older model vehicles and on airplanes. Although, this belt is uncommon new models, it sometimes used in the rear middle seats.
A sash is an adjustable strap that goes over the shoulder of a vehicle occupant. This type of safety belt was used in the 1960’s; the belt had limited benefits due to the fact that passengers can easily slip out of the belt in an accident.
Automatic Seat Belts
Some vehicles have shoulder straps that automatically move forward to secure the occupant when the vehicle is started. There is a separate lap belt that is included, and the lap belt must be fastened manually. After airbags became mandatory in many countries, the automatic seat belt lost was phased out of many vehicles.
Three Point Seat Belt Baby SeatA three-point seat belt is similar to the lap and shoulder belts, but with one, single, continuous length of webbing. This type of belt helps spread out the energy of the moving person in the event of a crash over the chest, pelvis and shoulders. A three-point seat belt is standard in most cars. During a car accident, these types of seatbelts can cause to sternal fractures and subcutaneous bruising.
The BIS seat belt is a three-point belt in which the shoulder belt is attached to the backrest. Results from some studies have shown this type of seat belt may be more effective in rollover accidents, particularly with children between the ages of four and eight.
Although, five-point harnesses are safer than other forms, they are also more restrictive. This type of belt is commonly used in child safety seats and in race cars. The lap part of the harness is connected to a belt between the legs. There are also two shoulder belts, resulting in a total of five points attachments to the seat.
A six-point harness is similar to a five-point harness, except it has an extra belt between the legs. These kinds of seat belts are used for racing. Six-point harnesses gained in popularity after the death of racecar driver Dale Earnhardt; he was wearing a five-point harness at the time of his fatal crash.
Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a North Carolina car accident due to no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other losses associated with the accident.
At Lewis & Keller, we offer free legal consultations to all injury victims. During the consultation, a member or our legal team will review the circumstances of your accident and advise you on the best course of action.
To find out if you’re eligible to file a lawsuit, complete the contact form on this page or call us at 866-299-1769.