Your seat belt is the single most effective safety device in your vehicle. If you’re traveling at 50 mph and stop suddenly, your unbuckled body will keep moving at 50 mph. Your seat belt is designed to keep you from being thrown into the dashboard or windshield — or even onto the road. Airbags can be big lifesavers. But without seat belts, they can be ineffective and even dangerous. In a crash, seat belts ensure you’re not thrown into a fast-opening airbag—a force that could injure or kill you. Driver or passenger, front seat or back, state law requires everyone in the vehicle to be buckled up. Not buckling up could cost you up to $200 in court costs and fines. Or even worse, it could cost you your life.
A vehicle-sensitive lock is based on a pendulum swung away from its plumb position by rapid deceleration or rollover of the vehicle. In the absence of rapid deceleration or rollover, the reel is unlocked and the belt strap may be pulled from the reel against the spring tension of the reel. The vehicle occupant can move around with relative freedom while the spring tension of the reel keeps the belt taut against the occupant. When the pendulum swings away from its normal plumb position due to sudden deceleration or rollover, a pawl is engaged, the reel locks and the strap restrains the belted occupant in position. Dual-sensing locking retractors use both vehicle G-loading and webbing payout rate to initiate the locking mechanism.
Like any component in your car, this safety device has a lot more going for it than just the actual "belt". Some of the seat belt parts you need to keep an eye on include the retractor, the adjuster, the tongue and buckle combination, the anchoring points, andof coursethe elastic webbed belt itself. All these parts have to be in perfect working conditionelse the whole system fails. Luckily, considering how much they matter, finding high-quality parts for your seat belt is easymany great companies produce some of the most reliable in the market.