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Seatbelt Extenders

A few weeks back, Detroit resident Yvonne Monger was given a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. She was riding in the front seat of a pick-up and is too big for the belts that are built-in to the truck. Thus, she got a ticket. She was understandably upset:

"There's other obese people out here also," said Monger. "What are we supposed to do? Not go to work? Stay in the house? What's the problem here?"

In the end she obtained a seatbelt extender from Ford. I admit I'm a little curious about the coverage of the story. The video which accompanies the text mostly shows Ms. Monger trying to buckle herself in and failing (uh, because the belt is too short - we know that already). The seatbelt extender is given some air time, though, and that's a good thing.

It would have been cooler if this was portrayed more as "Here's what you need to do if your seatbelt is too short" than anything else. So, I'm going to do that.

A number of years back Elizabeth Fisher led a charge against Honda for not even offering an extender. She compiled a list of resources for seatbelt extenders for most manufacturers. Moreso, though, NHTSA eventually ruled that longer belts weren't required due to the availability of extenders - and seatbelts are only legally required to fit a person weighing 215 pounds. [Thanks, Ryan!]

Scientists Admit Misconduct | Absolutes II

wednes June 10th, 2005 | Link | 215 pounds? So...the
215 pounds? So...the average pro-football player couldn't wear his belt either? I suppose though, that he is less likely to be pulled over and ticketed than the average "fat lady".
edim69 June 11th, 2005 | Link | The same should apply for
The same should apply for airbags, too--at no additional cost to the purchaser of the car--I'm assuming larger people would benefit from bigger airbags as well. Since these products are indeed lifesavers they should be available at no extra cost, period. Adam
bumerry June 11th, 2005 | Link | Even if the belt fits a
Even if the belt fits a person weighing over 215 pounds, regardless of muscle vs fat ratios, it is not designed to protectively restrain the person in and accident. You can still go flying out of the car and die. So enforcing seat belt laws on people who weigh over 215 is hypocritical. We do not get the safety benefit that states are legislating when the belt is on, therfore the law should not apply to us.
Maria June 13th, 2005 | Link | Great topic, Paul. It
Great topic, Paul. It brings up something that a lot of people think about, but don't know where to find the necessary parts. Does anyone know where to buy a seatbelt extender for airplane seats? I've thoughts about just stealing one from the airline the next time I fly, but that means that one less seatbelt extender for someone else who needs it.
lonelygirl June 13th, 2005 | Link | Maria: http://www.extend-it.c
MyssK June 13th, 2005 | Link | Fords seem to have short
Fords seem to have short seatbelts. Or is it Chevy? I forget. I just know that one of the cars my parents have has a very short seatbelt. My mom needs an extender and I can hardly fit in it, and I am not THAT big! It is rediculous. My Mitsubishi's seatbelt works just fine though, with plenty of spare room.
lonelygirl June 14th, 2005 | Link | My sister's car (a Pontiac)
My sister's car (a Pontiac) has short seatbelts. I *can* buckle them, but if I do, I can't lean forward to, say, open the window or change the radio station. I bought a new car last year, though, and I was pleased that all of the cars I test-drove (including Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Saturn, and Toyota) had sufficiently long seatbelts, except one: the Nissan Sentra (another one where I was able to buckle the seatbelt, but not comfortably).
Maria June 14th, 2005 | Link | LonelyGirl: Thanks so
LonelyGirl: Thanks so much! The belts are more expensive than I thought, but they're so worth it. I'm going to order one this weekend.
Nellegrrl July 16th, 2005 | Link | I had no idea that seatbelts
I had no idea that seatbelts were legally required to fit a person weighing up to 215 pounds. Does that include back seat seatbelts? It SHOULD. Way before I weighed even 200 pounds, I've had massive trouble getting those low seatbelts to fit around my hips....

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