Did you know that the humble seat belt is 50 years old this year? Considering cars have been around for over 100 years, it’s taken time to adapt and take on board safety features.
The first steps towards car safety were taken in 1966 where legislation made it compulsory for all new cars to have seatbelt fittings installed. Seatbelts offer huge protection in the event of a crash, with figures suggesting you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seat belt at all than if you do.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing reinforces the point:
“Seat belts are not only a legal requirement, they are the first and best line of preventative defence against death and serious injury in a road traffic collision.”
Penalties for not wearing seat belts include on-the-spot fines of £100 if caught without one on, or a fine of up to £500 if prosecuted. As a result of this law, it’s thought that 98% of drivers now wear a seat belt at all times whilst a car is moving.
Improving Seat Belt Safety for Children
However, seat belts have been designed primarily for use by adults, so don’t offer the best protection for your child. Where a seat belt has been created in such a way to fit an adult body protecting the shoulder, chest and hips, the belt often falls off a child’s shoulder and instead rests across their stomach. Both of these factors can lead to serious injuries in the event of a crash, including damage to the collar bone, spine and internal stomach wounds – often referred to as seat belt syndrome.
In order to prevent this happening, the huggybelt was invented. Designed to work alongside the compulsory booster/car seat for those aged 3-12, the huggybelt ensures your child is properly strapped in with the standard 3-point seat belt. Fixing to the existing belt and ISOFIX points, the huggybelt allows your seat belt to rest comfortably across a child’s shoulder and chest, without slipping or sliding as they move. It also comes with a shoulder rest, offering comfort to an area which most annoys kids wearing seat belts.
Easily transferable from left to right and car to car, this portable solution is one of the best ways to ensure your child makes the most of the adult-sized 3-point belt and is protected as best they can be.
Who knows what the next 50 years holds for the humble seat belt, but for now, make sure your child is properly protected by it with the help of a huggybelt.