Why Shoulder Straps Were Added To Seat Belts
Not so many years ago, the seat belts in
automobiles consisted of nothing more than the lap
belt, regardless of where one was sitting in the
vehicle. Then, shoulder straps were added for the
driver and front seat passenger nearest the door.
Later, shoulder belts were added for the passengers
in the rear seat nearest the doors or walls. Have
you ever wondered why shoulder straps were added to
car safety belts?
The reason is that the shoulder belts help to reduce
spinal injuries that can be caused by an automobile
accident. In the past, individuals wearing only
their lap belt have suffered severe spinal, pelvic,
and abdominal trauma because the only thing that
kept them in place was the lap belt right in their
The addition of the shoulder strap provided more
support for the entire upper body and spreading the
force exerted to hold one in place over a larger
area. In short, it reduced the severity of injuries
that were a direct result of wearing a seat belt in
the first place.
There is no doubt that wearing seat belts is much
safer than not in the event of an accident. Adding
the shoulder strap was a necessary step that made
them safer still.