There is no denying that seat belts save lives. But they can also lead to injuries.
In fact, injuries associated with seat belts happen so often that doctors refer to them as seat belt syndrome. It is important to note that in most cases, the injuries from a seat belt are far less severe than the injuries the person would have obtained had he or she not been wearing the seat belt.
Seat belts become locked in a crash situation, which tightens them and prevents the body from moving out of the car seat. However, there is still movement of the body, which is what could lead to injuries.
The shoulder belt might cut into the neck. It could break a rib or cause arm injuries. The lap belt puts you at risk for internal injuries or damage to the hips and pelvis. But these problems are usually not severe if you are wearing the belt properly.
The risk of seat belt syndrome increases when a person is not wearing the belt properly. These safety devices have a construction that requires the use of the whole system. When someone only uses one part, it reduces the effectiveness. All users should wear the shoulder and lap belts. The shoulder strap should go across the breastbone, and the lap belt should lay across the hips. These two points are strong points in the body and are most likely to not suffer injury from the belts.
Seat belt syndrome is almost exclusive to improper placement and wear. To avoid this issue, make sure you understand how to properly wear the device.