It is pretty common knowledge that wearing a seatbelt while driving can make a huge difference in a life and death situation. It is always important that you wear a seat belt while in a moving vehicle for safety reasons. Infact, when someone gets into a vehicle, the first thing they should do is put on a seatbelt. When someone gets into their vehicle, it is always assumed that their seat belt is working properly. Usually you hear the clicking sound and you assume that you are ready to hit the road. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If someone was to get into a car accident, the seat belt might not always function properly. There is always the possibility that the seat belt might not lock up properly and not restrain the person properly but instead unlock or spool out rendering the person completely insecure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in just the year 2002, that almost 2.9 million people were injured in a car accident because of a defective seat belt, 43,000 of those injured died.
What are some of the ways that a seat belt can be faulty? First off there is buckle failure. You might hear the click of the buckle and it might seem like it is working correctly, however, that does not mean it actually is. The seat belt buckle might break away during the accident if it experiences too much pressure. If the seat belt breaks away when a force of 5 pounds or less is exerted onto it, that seat belt is not up to standards. The next is torsion bar failure. The torsion bar is the mechanism in the seat belt that is designed to let out the seat belt if there is pressure applied to it. This is so someone is not severely injured by the restraint being overpowering. If the torsion bar lets too much of the seat belt to be released, then the person using it will not be restrained at all. The third fault is a webbing defect. Seat belts usually are made out of a strong material that prevents it from breaking. However, if there is a webbing defect, the seat belt will have a greater chance of tearing or splitting. If the seat belt tears, it will of course be rendered useless and serve no purpose in helping someone’s safety. Some materials are more likely to tear than others. Even a small tear can make the biggest difference in saving somones’ life or not.
Who should be held accountable if there is a faulty seatbelt in a vehicle? The answer is both the product and the manufacturers of the vehicle run the risk of potentially being at fault for a seat belt injury. Just because something is tested numerous times by the designers, does not mean it is going to work 100% of the time. It is the job of the manufacturers to make sure their product is as safe as possible to ensure the safety of its user.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to faulty equipment, let a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City, MO, such as from Royce Injury Attorneys, represent you for your case. Contact a law firm today.