Automatic seat belts

Automatic seat belts

Automatic seat belts are seat belts that automatically close over riders in a car.


Automatic seat belts were created to increase safety regardless of user negligence because even when seat belts were available, people often forgot to, or chose not to, use them.

The 1972 Volkswagen ESVW1 Experimental Safety Vehicle presented passive seat belts [ [ Experimental Safety Vehicle ] ] . Volvo tried to develop a passive three point seatbelt. In 1973 Volkswagen announced they had a functional passive seat belt [ [ PDF, Safety sells, Page 50] ] .

One problem identified with the automatic seat belt is that they do not work well with child safety seats. When air bags became mandatory, most vehicles stopped offering automatic seat belts. The biggest exception is the Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer, as well as a few other models, which continued using automatic safety belts along with dual airbags in the 1995 and 1996 model years.

Types of automatic seat belt systems

* Manual lap belt with automatic shoulder belt — When the door is opened, the shoulder belt moves from a fixed point on a track mounted in the door frame of the car to a point at the end of the track. Once the door is closed, and the car is turned on, the belt retracts along the track to a fixed position at the other end of the track. The lap belt must be fastened manually (if equipped). A drawback of this system is that many users forget to fasten the lap belt. A special seat belt modification is needed to use child seats in the front seats in vehicles fitted with this type of safety belt system. A subset of this type are shoulder belts that are fixed to the door of the vehicle, and don't slide. The manual lap belt is the same as in the retractable belts.

* Automatic Shoulder and Lap Belts — This system was mainly used in older General Motors vehicles. When the door is opened, the belts go from a fixed point in the middle of the car by the floor to retractors on the door. Passengers must slide into the car under the belts. When the door closes, the retractors travel down the door. The maneuver required to slide out from these seat belts is awkward, and likely to knock off glasses if the person is wearing them, fortunately the seat belts have normal release buttons that are supposed to be used only in an emergency but in practice are routinely used in the same manner as manual seat belt clasps. Any child safety seats in vehicles using this type of automatic seat belts used must be installed by a dealer.

ee also

*List of cars with automatic seat belts


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of cars with automatic seat belts — This is a list of cars sold in America with automatic seat belts.*Acura Integra *Acura Legend *Acura Vigor *Cadillac DeVille *Dodge Colt *Dodge Shadow *Dodge Spirit *Ford Escort *Ford Tempo *Ford Thunderbird *Geo Prizm *Honda Accord *Honda Civic… …   Wikipedia

  • Seat belt — This article is about the safety device. For the band, see The Seatbelts. A 3 point seat belt …   Wikipedia

  • seat belt — noun a safety belt used in a car or plane to hold you in your seat in case of an accident • Syn: ↑seatbelt • Hypernyms: ↑safety belt, ↑life belt, ↑safety harness • Part Holonyms: ↑car seat, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • seat belt — A passive restraint system which encircles the hips to prevent the occupant from being ejected from the vehicle. Often the seat belt is part of the shoulder harness. The use of seat belts is mandatory in every province and state in North America… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • Car seat — For the song by Blind Melon, see Car Seat (God s Presents). Driver s seat redirects here. For the 1978 single by Sniff n the Tears, see Driver s Seat. This article is about the fixed seats installed in an automobile. For seats specially designed… …   Wikipedia

  • Rumble seat — This 1931 Ford Model A sport roadster features a rumble seat A rumble seat, dicky seat, dickie seat or dickey seat is an upholstered exterior seat which hinges or otherwise opens out from the …   Wikipedia

  • M249 Squad Automatic Weapon — Infobox Weapon caption=The M249 SAW origin=flag|Belgium flag|United States type=Light machine gun is ranged=yes service= used by=See Users wars= designer= design date= manufacturer=FN Herstal, FN Manufacturing unit cost=US$4,087 [ [http://www.fas …   Wikipedia

  • Subaru Legacy — Infobox Automobile name = Subaru Legacy aka = Subaru Liberty Subaru B4 Subaru Legacy B4 Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon manufacturer = Subaru predecessor = none parent company = Fuji Heavy Industries production = 1989 present class = Mid size (1989… …   Wikipedia

  • Volkswagen Beetle — This article is about the original Volkswagen Beetle. For the automobile introduced in 1998, see Volkswagen New Beetle. Volkswagen Type 1 Manufacturer Volkswagen Also called Beetle …   Wikipedia

  • Toyota Cressida — Manufacturer Toyota Production 1976–1992 Assembly Toyota City, Japan …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.