Why are the seat belts on airplanes different than the ones on cars?

Airplane seat belts are an important safety factor that must be in consideration on every single flight, as well as on cars during car rides, simply because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); seat belts reduce the risks of injuries and death by half, Although seat belts’ designs on airplanes are different than those on cars, both are important to be worn during a flight or a car ride. In this article, we will discuss why and how are the designs different?

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Shape and movement during accidents

  • Regarding the shape, in an airplane, the belt is only a lap belt while in cars a one-pieced diagonal-lab belt.
  • Lift lever belts have existed around since before airplanes, but they became common in airplanes by the 1930s and 1940s. The reason they use the “lift lever” design is not only because they’re cost-effective, their materials are very light and cheap and they’re also made to help you during minor disturbances and events onboard. Sadly, a seat belt is unlikely to save you if the plane actually crashes.
  • Cars differ from airplanes in motion during accidents, cars move backward, forward, or sideways. This is because the car movement is on the ground, so the passenger needs the shoulder belt to hold the upper body during the sudden acceleration and deceleration. On planes the passenger needs protection from the movement up and down, this is something the shoulder belt can’t be efficient with.
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Mechanism Button

Also, airplane seat belts and car ones differ in mechanism buttons. Modern cars have push-button mechanisms, while planes have lift lever buttons, the manufacturers define an airplane seatbelt lever as the lift lever buckle. On a plane, you can move your upper body more freely than while in you are in a car.

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When pilots should turn on the seatbelts sign?

Pilots’ meteorology maps help to avoid thunderstorms, dangerous winds, or even turbulence. Pilots do their best whenever they see a pocket of turbulence, therefore pilots turn on the seatbelts sign after witnessing these uncomfortable weather conditions.

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How do determine the risk?

There is a metric standard known as Pitch, and this is the distance between your seat and the seat in front of you, the wall in front of you, the wall next to you, or whatever’s around you. FAA figures the needed safety by a dummy test, the amount of speed the dummy’s head gets up to before smashing into something determines what kind of safety harness you need. The more the room or the acceleration increases the need for safety increases also.

Myths about seatbelt

Some people think using seat belts isn’t essential because they aren’t in actual danger making them use seatbelts. A lot of myths were said about airplane seat belts, that it’s used just to know every passenger’s seat in case of an accident. Another myth says that seatbelts obstruct the movement during evacuation and all of these myths are wrong.

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Sources

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