Seat belt

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A seat belt or seatbelt, sometimes called a safety belt, is a safety harness designed to secure the occupant of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result from a collision or a sudden stop. As part of an overall automobile passive safety system, seat belts are intended to reduce injuries by stopping the wearer from hitting hard interior elements of the vehicle, or other passengers (the so-called second impact), are in the correct position for the airbag to deploy and prevent the passenger from being thrown from the vehicle. Seat belts also absorb energy by being designed to stretch during any sudden deceleration, so that there is less speed differential between the passenger's body and their vehicle interior, and also to spread the loading of impact on the passengers body.

The final, so-called 'third impact' after a passenger's body hits the car interior, airbag or seat belts, is that of the internal organs hitting the ribcage or skull. The force of this impact is the mechanism through which car crashes cause disabling or life threatening injury. The sequence of energy dissipating and speed reducing technologies - crumple zone - seat belt - airbags - padded interior, are designed to work together as a system, to reduce the force of this final impact.

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