Hundreds of people are injured as a result of defective or dangerous seatbelts and seat belt accidents every year

Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for more than half of all single-vehicle crash deaths. (NHTSA)

Every year hundreds of people are injured as a result of defective or dangerous seatbelts and seat belt accidents. Seatbelts perform a central role in occupant protection. Properly designed seatbelts should restrain the occupant by preventing ejection and minimizing the occupant’s violent movement within the vehicle during the crash event. Unquestionably, seatbelts have saved thousands of lives. With the introduction of mandatory usage laws, many more Americans are now wearing seatbelts compared to prior decades.

As a consequence of more frequent usage, design flaws in seatbelts have become apparent. The most common of these design defects and failures involve seat belt buckles that fail to hold or restrain on impact, shoulder belt that allow too much slack (window shade seat belt design), shoulder belt retractors that skip or fail to hold under load, automatic or door mounted seatbelts that kill and maim when the door opens during a rollover or crash, shoulder only belt strangulations and neck injury defects and dangerous lap only seat belt injuries and deaths.

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