Consumer interest groups and other safety organizations are asking auto manufacturers to discontinue use of the rear-center-seat lap belt (a two-point restraint) in all vehicle models in favor of the safer three-point restraint (lap and shoulder belt). Because the lap belt does not cross the chest or shoulder, passengers using the devices, especially children, may greatly increase their chance of suffering a severe, perhaps fatal, injury. Rear-center-seat lap belts leave the torso and head, which contain the body's vital organs, unprotected, allowing the passenger's upper body to swing freely during a collision. As a result, a passenger may strike the front seat or other passengers during an accident. Ligaments, tendons and bones
may strain. Severe spinal
and abdominal injuries may also result.
The federal government does not require automakers to install lap/shoulder belts, even though organizations such as the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended enhanced restraints in the rear-center position on all vehicles. Automakers claim package shelves would have to be mounted on all models to make room for lap/shoulder belts, something they claim is not feasible. Engineers, however, have designed several alternatives, including the installation of lap/shoulder belts in the seat itself. Critics argue that auto manufacturers will not install three-point restraints on all models because of financial concerns (automakers save nearly $25 a vehicle on lap belts).
If you have been injured because of a rear-center-seat lap belt, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Seat Belts
- Broken Back: Overview
- Broken Bones: Overview
- Coma: Overview
- Concussion: Overview
- Dislocation: Overview
- Head & Brain Injury
- Liver Failure: Overview
- Loss of Limb
- Mouth & Dental Disorders: Overview
- Scars: Overview
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Wounds: Overview