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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    107

    something I read elsewhere about seatbelts -- Is it true?

    While surfing the internet, I read on another message board somewhere one poster's comment about why she used a 5-point harness instead of a booster seat for her child. She said she was told at a car seat check that 40 lbs is the minimum weight required to engage the lock on a seatbelt in the event of a crash. Is that true, or mistaken? And if true, is that 40 lb. weight of occupant, or only the force exerted by the occupant, which is going to be much greater in a crash?

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic
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    Nov 2005
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    Not a tech, but I"m gonna take a guess. I've been in vehicles where, if you're barely leaning forward while the driver is breaking, it will lock. Like say, I just moved my torso forward an inch as we were pulling up to a stop sign. The belt would lock and i'd had to wait until we stopped to move forward any further. I wouldn't have been pushing with 40 lbs worth of force. I remember it happening as a teenager and I was just barely 100 total then. Gently leaning a bit forward just wouldn't be that much force. So I say no, that's wrong. Though it does make a great scare tactic to get people to keep kids in harnesses until 40 lbs!
    Kelly, mom to Aaric (7.5 and 65 lbs), Mikayla (6 and 52 lbs), and Xander (20 mo and 25 lbs)
    No more Huskies due to a wreck...
    Xander's in a MA, Mikayla in a GN, Aaric is temporarily in the pink Vivo...
    Graco SS1 due to come out of retirement in Jan 09

  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    I'm inclined to agree that this tech is using scare tactics without any factual basis for making such a claim. I'm not a tech but a huge safety freak, lol, and very pro-extended harnessing. I have also had seatbelts lock up on me many times just by leaning forward slightly or while driving around a corner or sharp curve. Using scare tactics like this may serve a purpose in certain situations, but can also undermine credibility and cause some parents to disregard otherwise valid safety information.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    No, that's not true -- otherwise infants would be screwed, wouldn't they....
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Iowa
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    All seatbelts must lock in a crash, no matter what kind of seat is used. Either the seatbelt is locked at the time of installation (as with a locking latch plate on a lap belt or a switchable retractor on a shoulder belt) or it is locked at the time of the crash, in which case a locking clip may be used to hold the seatbelt *until it locks*.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  7. #6
    Senior Community Member
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    Jul 2006
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    Could she have been talking about automatic pretensioners? If so, then it likely wouldn't matter, since not that many cars have pretensioners on rear seatbelts.

  8. #7
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
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    Google to the rescue... http://auto.howstuffworks.com/seatbelt3.htm shows how a seatbelt works. No, it doesn't take anything near 40 pounds to kick the retractor into action (the 'tech' in question must have been in the restroom or asleep when they showed them all the seatbelt systems and described how they worked, I'm guessing )
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

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