Video: You Wear a Seat Belt, But Are You Wearing it Correctly?

A Girls Guide To Cars | Video: You Wear A Seat Belt, But Are You Wearing It Correctly? - Seat Belt Pregnant Woman

Seat Belt Pregnant Woman

Seat belt safety goes beyond the click.

The first thing most of us do when we sit down in a car is buckle our seat belts. We don’t even think about it, but just do it instinctively as a part of the process of driving. The question is, are we buckling-up correctly to make sure we’re safe in the event of an accident?

It seems like you should just be able to buckle and go, but it’s important that the seat belt straps be in the correct place against your body. The lap belt should always be low across your thighs, not over your stomach. This is especially important for pregnant women who might be tempted to put the belt right across their bellies. Nope. Tuck it down low so it snugs against your hip bones rather than your belly.

The shoulder belt presents its own challenges and is the one people most often mess with because it’s not comfortable. Kids especially are tempted to tuck it under their arm or even behind their bodies so that it is more comfortable.

That shoulder belt has to be in the right place and that’s in front of your body so that it crosses between your neck and your shoulder. If it hits awkwardly, then there are a couple of easy solutions. Many cars have a height adjustment mechanism that can lower and raise the point at which that seat belt connects to the car.

Failing that, try adjusting the seats. Raising or lowering the seat or even adjusting the incline of the the seat back can help get that shoulder belt into a more comfortable position. According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NHTSA studies show seat belts reduce your chance of death in an accident by 71%. They also reduce your chance of injury by 64% so it just makes sense to take an extra minute to be sure you’re wearing your seat belt correctly.

Nicole Wakelin contributes to The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, and Boldride, and she hosts her own blog,, where... More about Nicole Wakelin