The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that almost 13,000 people are saved every year by seat belts. Also called safety belts, seat belts are designed to protect passengers in case of collisions or sudden stops. They also reduce the risk of death for front-seat passengers by almost 50 percent in vehicular accidents.
If your car's seat belts are already worn, you must replace them ASAP. Seat belts that won't buckle or retract properly will only cause more damage. Though replacing seat belts is easy, choosing the best isn't. If you want new seat belts, there are some important things to consider, so you won't regret your purchase and sacrifice your safety.
Types of seat belt
Nowadays, cars can be equipped with different types of seat belts. Though they are all designed to keep you safe, you should know which type of seat belt is best for you.
- Two-point: Basically, two-point seat belts have two attachment points. But because of the possibility of paralysis, two-point belts have been revised over the years.
- Three-point: A three-point belt is similar to the two-point belt, but it's unitized. In case of a collision, the three-point seat belt distributes the energy of the moving body in three points: chest, pelvis, and shoulders.
- Belt-in-Seat: Also called BIS, belt-in-seats are attached to the car seat rather than the vehicle structure.
- 4-,5-, and 6-point belts: Typically found in child seats and race cars, these kinds of seat belts can cause injuries when installed in vehicles that aren't meant to have them. They can also cause paralysis if the car equipped with these kinds of belts doesn't have enough strength to prevent roof collapse during vehicle rollovers.
Proper seat belt fit
The best seat belt should fit you perfectly. According to the NHTSA, seat belts should fit across your shoulders and the middle of your chest. If you want to have a lap belt, it should go below your stomach and across your hips. For better and more adjustable seat belts, car dealers provide seat belt adjusters. If you're wondering, these guidelines also apply to children.
The best brand
Seat belts, just like other car parts, are widely manufactured because they eventually get damaged. Typically, seat belts range from $20 to $250. Price influences quality, so it's best to buy seat belts from trustworthy brands that don't sacrifice cost for quality.