With the way the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Hon James Ocholi (SAN) died in a fatal motor accident along Abuja – Kaduna road while travelling with his son and wife, I wondered why his Orderly and Driver were both spared. The answer I got was SEAT BELT
How Do Seat Belts Work?
When the brakes are applied sharply or when the car is impacting something, the vehicle may be stopped, but due to inertia, the passengers motion will keep moving forward. Seat belts can help restrain that motion. Inside, the retractor has a silver-colored bead that is slightly larger than a ball bearing. The movement of the ball due to the vehicle deceleration that is occurring (either brake application or vehicle impact), results in an actuator moving up to lock the spool rotation, locking of the seat belts.
What Is a Pretensioner?
To help increase passenger protection, the Pretensioner reduces the slack between the seat belt and the passenger’s body during a collision. When a collision occurs, the pretensioner is activated and the power generated by the micro gas generator instantly recoils some webbing back into its housing. This enhances the effectiveness of the seatbelt by bringing the passenger as close to the seat as possible.
The sequence for this is as follows: The signal from the sensors is transmitted to the ECU (electronic control unit) which determines if a collision has occurred. If this is the case, a signal is sent to the pretensioners in the seat-belt system initiating the webbing retraction. The Pretensioner in the belt almost instantaneously winds webbing back into its housing, removing all slack.
Pretensioners may be installed in various places. In some vehicles, the Pretensioner is in the retractor. In other vehicles, the Pretensioner is part of the buckle assembly. Additionally, some vehicle may have both.
How Strong Are Seat Belts?
The belt portion of the seat belt system is commonly called “webbing.” Approximately 300 polyester fibers are woven finely into a single belt. With this number of fibers, the strength of the belt has been measured to hold a weight of about three tons.
Either you’re seated in the front seat or the rear, always afford to use your seat belt. It saves lives!!!