When you think “tech”, you probably think search engine optimization, social media management, or how to get your blog monetized. However, sometimes the best (and life saving) technology is actually what’s at your fingertips on a daily basis. You might not think seatbelt technology is all that high tech, but it is. Plus, it’s been making some major leaps and bounds in recent years.
While seatbelt laws vary state by state, one thing is certain: Most of the time, they’re a part of your car’s technology that is seemingly simple, yet can save your life. With vehicle safety, you have passive or active features. Those active features are things like anti-locking brakes. However, passive features are those that stop or reduce injuries in a collision, like airbags and those staple seatbelts.
Seatbelts are the big kahuna when saving lives. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
That’s no supplement
While technically a passive safety feature, airbags and the like are actually supplemental restraints. They don’t always work, such as with the latest Toyota recall covered by NCB News and other outlets. Seatbelts, on the other hand, have emergency locking retractors which let you move around comfortable, but locks drivers/passengers into place should a collision happen. With an inertia reel, any quick pull stops free movement.
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Many seatbelts also have employing sensors, which kick in only if an actual collision or roll-over happens (not just when you jerk quickly to catch sunglasses falling off the dash). Your car may feature automatic locking retractors, which locks a child passenger into place when installing a car seat (make sure you keep up with your state’s requirements, such as those reported by the Tampa Tribune and going into effect soon). In order to activate this, you have to pull the belt completely until you hear a click, which will let you lock a car seat into place. Retract it fully again to turn off this feature.
The magic of your ride
Your belt’s pretensioners tighten up preemptively, which can minimize occupant movement durihs a crash. There are sensors on chassis triggers which will retract the seatbelt. This feature creates a scary popping noise, but makes the belt work better. Reduction of force when you’re shot forward in a crash is crucial.
Finally, there are force limiters and that adjustable shoulder height. Force limiters include shock absorbers, which is why seatbelts have a little give. This is a must to reduce internal injuries. Don’t forget to make use of those adjustable shoulder heights, too, since that will make them not just more comfortable but more effective.