The Telegraph
Monday , June 9 , 2014
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TT: How important are seat belts ?

Khobragade: Seat belts are essential for complete safety of passengers. Road safety studies have concluded that seat belt legislation has reduced the number of casualties in road accidents

Are seat belts mandatory for those in rear seats?

Seat belts are equally important for front and rear seats. Though the motor vehicle rules are a bit ambiguous, authorities should ensure use of seat belts for both front and rear passengers

How do seat belts work?

Seat belts prevent passengers from hitting the windshield or lunging towards the dashboard when a car comes to an abrupt halt

Who certifies seat belts?

The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has laid down specifications for seat belt assemblies. ARAI guidelines say seat belts should have anchorage capacity of 800 Newton meter

Any new innovations?

Some manufacturers are using seats belts that get locked automatically in case the car experiences even slight shock

Are there specifications for the strap?

The straps should be at least 3.5-inch wide

How do airbags work?

Airbags inflate and prevent passengers from dashing against the interiors of a vehicle when it comes to an abrupt halt. But, seat belts are more effective

How so?

Airbags are only available in high-end cars, while seat belts are installed in all types of cars. An airbag functions only when a car is moving at speed above 50kmph or 60 kmph

What can manufacturers do to ensure use of seat belts?

Car manufacturers should introduce a system whereby a car will not start unless the driver and all passengers lock in their seat belts

Has any manufacturer introduced this system?

Tata Motors World Truck (Tata Prima) launched three years ago uses this. Several car manufacturers are now emulating this innovation for safety of passengers

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