Seat Belt: A Device That can Either Save or Take Away Lives
If the same problem has been reported of vehicles of the same design, especially if any of the reports mention the occurrence of an accident due to the (reported) problem, then it may be necessary to recall the vehicle in question. A vehicle recalls, as pointed out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), becomes necessary if:
- The defect poses a risk to the safety of the driver and passenger, and anyone else on the road; and,
- The vehicle or any of its parts fail to comply with the minimum safety performance requirement set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These safety standards make sure that a vehicle can be operated safely and that the driver and passengers would have enough protection from serious injury or death in the event of a crash. There are standards for the vehicle itself as well as for its specific parts, like tires, brakes, lighting, child restraints, air bags and safety belts, among others.
Vehicle recalls can occur due to complaints of consumers to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), a department of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). One example of a complaint is regarding defective safety belts or seat belts.
Due to consumer complaint, Chrysler, in particular, had to recall in October of 2014 about 184,215 of its SUVs around the globe; this is besides the more than 850,000 vehicles which Ford had to recall one month earlier due to the same problem.
Seat belts, which prevent drivers and passengers from hitting with great force any of a car’s interior parts, such as a door window, dashboard, or windshield, are considered the best protection during car accidents. These crash-safety devices protect car occupants from possible serious injuries during primary impact, that is when a car hits another vehicle or a solid road fixture. Though seat belts may save thousands of lives, these, in some instances, can also be the cause of serious injuries or death due to defects.
A defective or malfunctioning seat belt can be a result of poor manufacturing design. Every year, at least 10,000 individuals, who die in car crashes, are said to have died due to faulty seat belts. Examples of seat belt defects, according to a Milwaukee accident lawyer, include tight or ill-fitting seat belts, improper constriction or loose seat belts, and poorly crafted seat belts which is due to weak materials o weak construction.
Whatever the defect of a seat belt is, this device that was intended to increase your safety has become a device that causes you additional injuries during a car accident. Negligent manufacturers who sell or lease vehicles with defective seat belts need to be held responsible for the damage they cause.