Seat belts, also known as safety belts, are intended to secure passengers in a vehicle from any harmful movement that may result from a collision or abrupt stop. As a crucial component of an overall occupant restraint system, seat belts are designed to reduce injuries by stopping the passenger wearing the belt from hitting hard interior elements of the vehicle or other passengers and by preventing the passenger from being thrown from the vehicle.
Sometimes, however, a passenger will sustain an injury despite wearing a seat belt. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Alabama auto accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for losses incurred in the crash, including current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages related to the accident.
To begin exploring your legal options, we encourage you to contact our auto accident attorneys today by completing the Free Case Review form to the right of this page.
Different Types of Seat Belts
Depending on the type of motor vehicle and its purpose, there may be different types of seat belts. Some of the most common types of seat belts include lap belts, sash belts, automatic seat belts, three-point belts, belt-in-seat (BIS), five-point harnesses, and six-point harnesses.
A lap seat belt is an adjustable strap that goes over the waist. These belts are frequently used in older cars. Currently, this type of belt is relatively uncommon except in some rear middle seats.
A sash is an adjustable strap that goes over the shoulder of an occupant. This type of seat belt was used mainly in the 1960s, but of limited benefit since they are very easy to slip out of in a collision.
Automatic Seat Belts
Some vehicles have shoulder belts that automatically move forward to secure the passenger when the vehicle is started. A separate lap belt is usually included, and the lap belt must be fastened manually. Automatic seat belts have fallen out of favor recently, since the airbag became mandatory in many countries.
A three-point seat belt is similar to the lap and shoulder belts, but with one, single, continuous length of webbing. Both three-point and lap-and-sash seat belts help spread out the energy of the moving body in the event of an accident over the chest, pelvis and shoulders. This type of seat belt is the standard seat belt for most cars.
The BIS seat belt is a three-point belt in which the shoulder belt is attached to the backrest. Some studies have shown that this type of belt may be safer in the case of rollover accidents, particularly with children four to eight years old.
A five-point harness may be safer, but it is also more restrictive than other seat belt types. This type of seat belt is usually used in child safety seats and in race cars. The lap part of the harness is connected to a belt between the legs. There are also two shoulder belts, making a total of five points of attachment to the seat.
A six-point harness is similar to a five-point harness, but with an extra belt between the legs. These belts are mostly used in racing. In fact, the six-point harness gained popularity after the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt (he was wearing a five point harness when he suffered his fatal accident).
Contact an Experienced Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Today
At the Citrin Law Firm, we offer free legal consultations to Mobile accident victims. During your consultation, a member of our legal team will review the details of your claim and recommend the best course of action for you to pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
To make sure that our clients are able to afford proper representation in their pursuit for justice, our personal injury law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you choose to hire our attorneys, there is never any cost to you until we are able to successfully obtain a favorable outcome for your claim. If we fail to do this, you do not owe us any fees.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Alabama car accident victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our lawyers, contact the Citrin Law Firm today by completing the Free Case Review form on this page.