Friday, 6 July 2012 08:24

Lap Seat Belts

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

We all know that seatbelts were designed to save lives. Unfortunately, using a seatbelt incorrectly can lead to life threatening injuries or death. The issue we would like to highlight today is the use of lap belts only.

While lap belts are instrumental in preventing an individual from being ejected from a vehicle, when used alone, they can often cause more harm than good. When worn alone, lap belts can cause serious internal injuries during a car crash. When a collision occurs, the seatbelt stops the body from moving forward. With the three point harness system, the force is spread throughout the body. With the lap belt only, the entire force of your body moving forward is directed to one location: your abdomen.

Potential injuries include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Liver
  2. Kidney
  3. Spleen
  4. Intestines
  5. Stomach
  6. Spinal Cord


In September of 2007 federal law went into effect requiring a three point harness system for all backseat passengers. This still leaves millions of cars traveling the roadways with lap belts only. Several options are available for modifying the seatbelts in older vehicles. If your vehicle has lap belts only, check with your dealer or mechanic for modification options specific to your vehicle.