Even though seat belts are required in most states, a surprising number of people still don’t wear them, and an even greater number don’t know how to take care of them properly. Seat belts are one of the most vital safety features of your vehicle, and even though they might not currently be first on your list to inspect, it’s important that you don’t overlook auto seat belt repair and maintenance.
Seat Belts Save Lives
Many people don’t wear seat belts because they think they’re uncomfortable and not worth the bother. The fact is that seat belts are one of the best ways to prevent automobile deaths. The CDC reports that just over half of the people who die annually in car crashes weren’t wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. They estimate that more than 5,000 lives could be saved each year if everyone simply buckled up.
Even when an accident isn’t life-threatening, seat belts can go a long way toward reducing injuries. You’re far less likely to hit your head or be thrown out of your vehicle if you’re restrained. While you may suffer whiplash and some bruising, you’re much more likely to survive the crash.
What to Look For
Luckily, seat belts aren’t complicated, and it’s easy to tell if they’re in good working order with a basic inspection. Make a point to look them over every 1 to 2 months, especially if you have children. Check to see if the belt is worn, frayed, or torn. See if it retracts properly, or if it gets stuck partway. Check all the buckles to make sure they fasten securely.
Basic Seat Belt Maintenance
If you need seat belt latch repair or your belt has become torn or frayed, it’s always best to take it to a professional to get it repaired or to get the new parts necessary. Remember: your seat belt may save your life someday, so you want to make sure it has the best care possible.
The only time you may be able to repair a seat belt yourself is if it’s relatively new and isn’t retracting properly. In this case, it may have just gotten tangled, and you can often fix it by disassembling the retractor mechanism, smoothing out the belt, and reassembling everything again.