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The correct way to wear your seatbelt? watch

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    Was having a discussion with someone on MSN who's just crashed their car about this, and we're not sure what the correct answer is.

    Obviously, you should wear your seatbelt, and the diagonal strap should go across your chest, not your neck, and you shouldn't put your arms over the belt. The lap belt part shouldn't go across your stomach, but across the top of your hips.

    However, we can't agree on how tight the seatbelt should be, to prevent as much injury as possible in the event of a crash.


    I prefer to wear my seatbelt as tight as possible when driving (and as a passenger) - with the lapbelt as tight as possible across my thighs/hips, with as little slack as possible in the belt. I especially wear it like this when driving fast (but within the speed limit ), like on dual carriageways or motorways.

    I don't feel "safe" driving with a loose seatbelt, I just don't feel secure.


    My friend on the other hand says that in the event of a crash, wearing your seatbelt as tight as it'll go will cause more injuries, since there is less slack to decelerate you. She agrees wearing a very loose seatbelt is totally pointless and you might as well not wear one at all, since you'll probably still hit the steering wheel/airbag at the wrong time. In her opinion, the belt shouldn't be tight, but not loose.


    What's the better way to wear a seatbelt, to reduce the risk of injury?
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    I think you should wear it as tight as possible whilst still comfortable.

    I think it will still give slightly before locking as that is the way the mechanism designed, plus it's fabric so it will give anyway. So it will still decelerated you gently no matter how you wear it. Wearing it too loose will probably just cause it to slip and break your shoulder bone or something.

    So in short, you're right, your friend is wrong, in my opinion.
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    I imagine my friend was talking about just pulling the seatbelt across you and buckling it, whereas I'm talking about actually pulling the belt until it is tight.

    I, personally, feel safer with a really tight belt, and it doesn't feel uncomfortable (I wear aircraft seatbelts in the same way). I was just wondering if it was affecting my safety in any way


    Thanks for the opinion
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    It comes loose as you move around anyway.

    I know what you mean about aircraft seatbelts, I always do that up so tight I can barely move, just makes me feel safer, I'm not too sure why, they always say that the people who survive are the ones who get thrown from the plane when it snaps in two before exploding...
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    (Original post by Joe_87)
    It comes loose as you move around anyway.
    I don't find the seatbelt on the Ford Ka (not my car, my parent's car) comes loose as I drive. I pull it pretty tight and it stays that way for quite a while. I don't really "move around" much while driving, apart from the neccesary movements, like pedals, gears & steering

    (Original post by Joe_87)
    I know what you mean about aircraft seatbelts, I always do that up so tight I can barely move, just makes me feel safer, I'm not too sure why, they always say that the people who survive are the ones who get thrown from the plane when it snaps in two before exploding...
    LOL. As someone who's studying aero engineering at uni, I'll have to remember that one I always do my belt up so tight on planes that I can't move.

    To be honest, I'm surprised there aren't full-blown harnesses in the passenger cabins on aircraft, I guess that adds too much weight


    It'd be interesting to find out which is the "safer" way of wearing a seatbelt
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    Fake answer: You need it wrapped twice round your neck if you want it to do anything and then you need to put one leg out of the window and tie it there with a bungee cord.

    Real answer: You can buy devices that ratchet the belt tight for track days and such, the thought being that if you cant have a harness then this is better than a stock belt. Are you doing a track day? No? Then I don't think you need it anything other that the tightness that the spring in the coil provides. They don't advise you to pull them tight nor do they say have them loose. You're still going to get a broken collar bone if its a bad impact anyway.
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    (Original post by _Jax_)
    Fake answer: You need it wrapped twice round your neck if you want it to do anything and then you need to put one leg out of the window and tie it there with a bungee cord.

    Real answer: You can buy devices that ratchet the belt tight for track days and such, the thought being that if you cant have a harness then this is better than a stock belt. Are you doing a track day? No? Then I don't think you need it anything other that the tightness that the spring in the coil provides. They don't advise you to pull them tight nor do they say have them loose. You're still going to get a broken collar bone if its a bad impact anyway.
    Who's "they"?
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    My friend on the other hand says that in the event of a crash, wearing your seatbelt as tight as it'll go will cause more injuries, since there is less slack to decelerate you.
    How is a seatbelt that is less tight going to decelerate you more? surely in terms of safety the tighter the better.
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    I think he's alluding to the fact that if the seatbelt is looser, it's going to take longer for your momentum to dissipate into the belt. Force is change of momentum over change in time, and time is higher, so force will be lower.

    The truth is, when you're hurtling into a seatbelt against your body at 60mph, however much slack isn't going to make a great deal of difference. You'll get thrown totally freely until you get to the seatbelt no matter what, with virtually no change of momentum until you hit it. The decelerative force will be the same whether it comes 10ms or 30ms after the crash, because you are not altering the actual tension of the belt, you're only altering its slackness.

    With a tighter belt you'll cover less distance before you get to the belt, though, which might minimise whiplash and spinal injuries. Also, by the time you get to the belt it will have decelerated considerably more than your body, so it'll be almost stationary when you hit it at 60mph rather than you slowing down with it from 60mph. (The decelerative forces won't be any higher, but you'll hit the belt rather than being strangled by the belt, which may mean belt burns and a broken collarbone).
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    Bearing in mind that on a standard 3-point seatbelt, it's only really possible for the lap belt portion to be really tight, since the diagonal belt will only be as tight as the spring/return system allows.

    I'd have thought that having the belt as tight as possible means you're less likely to slide forward in your seat in the event of a crash (and "submarine" under the seatbelt) and therefore hit the steering wheel or airbag too early. Your shoulders and upper body will of course still go forward, and the diagonal strap will decelerate you here.


    So, what's the general opinion on the safest way to wear a seatbelt? And how many of you out there don't actually wear one?
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    Is it just me that doesn't understand how you wear a belt tighter or looser? I pull mine across, clip it into the buckle thing and let the spring pull it back in? It slides in and out if you move slow anyway so I don't get what you mean by wearing it tighter, unless it's a proper harness, which I presume it isn't.

    As for aeroplane seatbelts, I'm pretty sure they are to stop you falling out of your seat if there is turbulance? I don't think anyone's ever survived a plane crash because the belt held them saf.e
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    (Original post by KingLeigh)
    Is it just me that doesn't understand how you wear a belt tighter or looser? I pull mine across, clip it into the buckle thing and let the spring pull it back in? It slides in and out if you move slow anyway so I don't get what you mean by wearing it tighter, unless it's a proper harness, which I presume it isn't.
    Once you've buckled the belt up, pull on the diagonal strap and that tightens the lapbelt part.

    (Original post by KingLeigh)
    As for aeroplane seatbelts, I'm pretty sure they are to stop you falling out of your seat if there is turbulance? I don't think anyone's ever survived a plane crash because the belt held them saf.e
    They are also for the same reasons as car seatbelts - to hold you in place during sudden deceleration. Jumbo Jets have to brake quite heavily at most airports (like Gatwick), and you do feel quite a force on the belt (well, a noticeable force anyway). They also hold you in place in the event of a bumpy/emergency landing.
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    (Original post by thomasp)
    And how many of you out there don't actually wear one?
    You can start your list off with that crazy German guy who does the Gumball 3000.
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    Yeah, I've got last year's Gumball on DVD. That's enough to put you off bad driving for life
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    You can start your list off with that crazy German guy who does the Gumball 3000.
    Is that the guy that used to be a hacker then made millions out of his own security company. The guy who was sitting there talking to the camera man at 160mpg or something
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    LOL I dunno but he's quite funny. Remember the scene from last year (I think) when they went through Morocco - he asked the Morrocan guy whether they had rescue helicopters and was told no. So he said 'well for the first time, I am going to fasten my seatbelt!'.
 
 
 
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