Can’t safety belts actually cause injuries?

Yes, they can cause some injuries, especially in severe crashes. These injuries are usually limited to bruises and cracked collar bones and ribs - minor injuries in comparison to what often happens without the safety belt. It is important that safety belts be worn correctly to reduce the chance that they might injure you. Lap belts should be worn as low and snug as possible on the hips, since belts that are worn high crossing the stomach can cause injuries. Shoulder belts must also be worn snugly across the chest and middle of the shoulder. Never wear a shoulder belt with more than an inch of space between your chest and the belt. 

Too much slack will allow your head to go too far forward in a front-end crash. If the shoulder belt rubs against your neck, try adjusting your seating position, the position of the seat or the seat belt height adjustment, if equipped, to get a proper fit. Cloth comfort sleeves may also be placed on the shoulder belt to make it more comfortable. Do not place the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm. With the shoulder belt behind the back, your head and upper torso will be thrown forward in the event of a frontal crash. As with the belts behind the back, shoulder belts under the arm do not hold your head and upper torso back away from danger. In addition, the belt under the arm can fracture ribs and cause serious internal injuries.

Show All Answers

1. What are the basic requirements of the safety belt law?
2. What vehicles are covered by the law?
3. Why are school buses and commercial buses exempt from the Safety Belt law?
4. What are the penalties for a violation of the Safety Belt Law?
5. Is the Oklahoma Safety Belt Law a primary law or a secondary law?
6. Are there medical exemptions and how do I get one?
7. If a passenger isn't buckled up, who gets the ticket?
8. How does the Mandatory Child Restraint Law differ from the Safety Belt Law?
9. My car doesn't have safety belts. Do I have to install them?
10. I’m too large for my safety belt to fit around me. What should I do?
11. Does the Safety Belt Law apply to employer owned vehicles?
12. Now that I’m pregnant, should I still wear my safety belt?
13. Can’t safety belts actually cause injuries?