Keeping your seat belts safe

Buckling seat belt

By law, most passenger cars on the road today should be equipped with seat safety belts, and many trucks also have this life saving equipment. But, wherever they are—in your car or in your rig—you should not take the condition of your seat belts for granted. While no standard guidelines covering life expectancy and recommended age for replacement have been offered, some specialists suggest that belt webbing or belt hardware should be replaced immediately if wear or other damage seems to indicate that the equipment’s total capacity to protect has been decreased. Therefore, periodic inspection of the seat belt is recommended.


Here are the places to look to inspect your seatbelt:

  1. Sections of webbing that make regular contact with metal hardware should be examined carefully. Continued abrasion of such vital points can weaken the fabric. 
  2. All spring mechanisms should be checked for proper functioning. 
  3. All metal hardware should be checked carefully for possible cracks or damaged areas. 
  4. Check to see whether the webbing slips under tension at buckles or other attachment points. 

It’s hard to predict whether a minor defect might alter the belts effectiveness in a crash, but if the defect is serious enough to raise a doubt, it should be repaired.

 
Buckling seat belt
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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