Buckle Up...Safe Seat Belt Alternatives

Plains Chevrolet Parts Director J.R. Messer
Plains Chevrolet Parts Director J.R. Messer
Mike Thero
Mike Thero

More and more people are choosing not to buckle up. A new study says it's because some people cannot fit into a standard seat belt. It's not common knowledge, but you can extend your seat belt, and usually it's free of charge.

Drivers who need more than the standard sized seat belt now have a safer choice, a seat belt extension.

"They're tested just like the seat belts, they have the same construction, same materials. The only thing that we ask people that do get the extenders and we have them sign a form, that they are the only one who uses that extender. Someone smaller uses that there's a possibility that the seat belt would not perform it's job." Plains Chevrolet Parts Director J.R. Messer said.

A  lot of people can't fit the width of a standard seat belt because it's made for a 215 pound man. So many choose a dangerous alternative.

Ronald Spiker says he rarely wears his, "I have a seat belt ticket now cause I can't stand to wear them myself it's very uncomfortable."

Mike Thero agrees, "For the most part I do but there are times frankly it just depends on where I'm going how far my drive is due to comfort because I'm larger than some other people, but I don't always wrap it around me because I'm not convinced that seat belts, that they keep the larger person in mind."

Now that Thero knows there is another choice he says he'll choose it.

"Absolutely, I think the larger driver would probably silly and unsafe to not take advantage of something like that especially if the manufacturer is willing to give that item for free."

If you would like your seat belt extended go to your car manufacturers parts department and just ask for one. Dealers say it's nothing to be embarrassed about because your safety comes first.

The Department of Public Safety says more than half of the fatal accidents in Texas involve drivers not wearing their seatbelts.