Seat belts were designed to help keep vehicle occupants safe when accidents occur. While seat belts often help to prevent injuries or fatalities, there are some situations in which seat belts can increase the injuries and damages that are caused by a car accident. If you or a loved one is harmed in an accident and a seat belt made the resulting injuries worse, it is a wise idea to consult with an attorney.
Different Designs of Seat Belts
Since their invention, there have been numerous changes and developments to seat belts. There are several types of seat belts design, which all work in a slightly different manner. These types of seat belts include:
- 4, 5, & 6 Point Harness
- Belt in Seat
- 3 Point
Each of these seat belts has the potential to be defective in nature. Some of the various defects that riders experience with seat belts include seat belts that become unbuckled due the force of an accident, seat belts that seem to be connected but are not, seat belts that do not fit tightly enough against a rider, and seat belts with fabric that is torn and fails to restrain a rider when an accident occurs.
How Seat Belt Accidents Occur
A person who is traveling in a car is traveling at the same speed as his or her vehicle. If a motor vehicle stops suddenly, a person’s body will travel a bit further until forces slow down the momentum of that person’s body. Seatbelts are helpful because they serve to slow down the momentum with which a person’s body is moving. Sometimes, however, the force of seat belts in slowing the momentum of a person’s body can seriously injure a person’s body.
The Types of Injuries Caused Due to Seat Belt Accidents
There are several common types of injuries that most often occur due to seat belt accidents. Some of these injuries include the following:
- Abrasion and lacerations caused by the roughness of the seat belt.
- Blood in a person’s stool or urine due to compression of organs.
- Bruised or fractured ribs due to the force of the seat belt.
- Difficulties in breathing due to damage to a person’s heart or lungs.
- Pain in the organs located between a person’s hips and ribs.
- Torn tendons and muscle fibers in a person’s shoulder.
- Whiplash and other types of spinal cord injuries.
Steps to Prevent Injuries Caused by Seat Belts
A person can greatly decrease the risk of being seriously injured by a seatbelt by using it in the correct manner. Some of the elements that comprise successful seat belt use include the following:
- Making sure that the shoulder strap is placed around the center of a person’s chest.
- Not placing a shoulder strap behind a person’s body.
- Not tightening a seatbelt too much or leaving the restraint too loose.
- Placing a lap belt securely across a person’s hips by the waist area.
Obtain the Services of an Accident Attorney
Seat belts that injure a person can leave a long lasting impact on his or her physical health. If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident and a seat belt made the resulting injuries worse, contact Ferrara & Gable today for assistance.