fbpx

Call John Flood Trial Lawyers today: (361) 654-8877

Defective Seat Belts
When it comes to safety on the road, seatbelts are the first step to protecting yourself and passengers in the event of an accident. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts were responsible for saving an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.

In addition to providing protection in the event of an accident, seat belts can also aid in protection against other vehicle safety features such as airbags; when vehicle occupants are not wearing seat belts, airbags can injure or kill them due to the rate of acceleration and impact from deployment. While the intended purpose of seat belts is to protect a vehicle’s passengers, they can become the source of injury or death when defective and improperly functioning.

Defective Design and Manufacturing

Wearing a seatbelt is not only common sense; it’s the law. As a society, we have been conditioned to trust seat belts; and, in fact NHTSA recommends buckling up as the most effective way to protect yourself in the event of an accident. As the primary source of protection in motor vehicle travel, seat belt failures can injure or kill unsuspecting drivers and passengers.

Drivers and passengers assume automakers sufficiently tested seat belts to ensure efficacy; however, NHTSA data suggests otherwise. NHTSA estimates three million people are injured every year by seat belt failure, and an estimated 40,000 lose their lives annually due to defective seat belts. Depending on the type of motor vehicle accident, such as a rollover, seat belt failure can be especially dangerous and even fatal.

Common Seatbelt Malfunctions

While any seatbelt issue can prove deadly, its most common automotive component part malfunctions are:

False Latching

When a seatbelt fails to properly lock and hold the buckle securely to its latch, this can result in it unlocking and no longer securely holding a passenger.

Retraction Failure

In the event of an accident, seat belts are designed to retract extra slack and lock, securely holding a passenger in place. Should the retraction method fail, the passenger is no longer held or protected by a seat belt and could thus be ejected.

Webbing/Material Defects

Seat belts are made with reinforced material fibers so they can withstand strong forces. When the material is improperly designed and/or constructed and begins to unravel, the seatbelt becomes less effective.

Defective Mounts

A seatbelt can be made of proper material and have a correctly functioning latching system but still fail to keep a passenger safe due to inadequate mounting systems. A seat belt mount secures the seat belt to the car, reinforcing its ability to secure the driver to their seat. When mounting systems fail and become lose, seat belts are unable to perform in the event of an accident.

Texas Seat belt Injury Lawyer

Automakers have a duty to design and manufacture motor vehicle safety features that work. Preventable deaths and serious injury occur every year due to automakers’ failure to take responsibility for defective products. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed because a seat belt failed to function as intended, you may be entitled to financial compensation. John Flood fights for clients who have been betrayed by their vehicle’s safety features. Contact us today to take the first step in receiving just and fair compensation for your injuries.

  • Free Case Evaluation

    Tell us about your case and see how we can help! Appointments available via Zoom video conference.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.