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Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
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Ask Mike Lewis about Seat Belt Entanglement

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Through our partnership with Kidsandcars.org, Mike Lewis Attorneys’ bring you important information regarding the efforts to keep the kids of our world safe in and around motor vehicles. Seat belt entanglement takes place when a child within reach of a seat belt becomes entangled if he or she pulls the seat belt all the way out and wraps the belt around the head, neck, or waist.

The majority of seat belts have a locking mechanism that is activated when the seat belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor. This feature is designed for child seat installation. In instances when the locking feature activates, the child may not be able to free him or herself.

This can happen if you do not properly restrain your child, for example, if you let the child lie down or sleep on the seat of the car, instead of being properly restrained. Older children who no longer use a child restraint system, can become entangled by pulling a seat belt all the way out of the retractor, or by playing with an unused seat belt.

Prevention Tips:

  • Don’t let children play in or around cars.
  • Never leave a child unattended in or around a vehicle.
  • Always ensure children are properly restrained.
  • Teach children that seat belts are not toys.
  • Be aware that some seat belts have a retractor that locks if pulled all the way out.
  • If a child has an unused seat belt within reach:
    • Buckle unused seat belts. Pull the seat belt out all the way to the end without yanking. Then, put the excess webbing back into the retractor.
    • Install your child’s car seat with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) LATCH system. Always consult your child seat and vehicle owner’s manual for installation instructions.

Read this interesting blog post about the Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Car Safe during the school year.