What are seat belt plugs and what are the dangers of using them
There is such an incomprehensible stereotype that only cowards and insecure drivers buckle up in the car. If the motorist does not pull the belt over himself, he can do everything, he is not afraid of any accidents, because he can easily get out of any situation.
A really strange situation, which has nothing to do with common sense. To combat those who ignore the basic principles of safety when driving a car, various systems have been developed.
The most popular and found on almost all relatively new cars, as well as on modern cars, are belt buckle sensors. If the driver sits behind the wheel, doesn’t buckle up, and starts the engine about to drive, the electronics will immediately register this and start making unpleasant noises. They do not stop until the motorist inserts the belt into the lock.
But to circumvent such protection came up with a solution in the form of special plugs. It is worth understanding what they are and why their use is considered a stupid and dangerous solution.
What is it
You know perfectly well what exactly for what they came up with such plugs for safety belts. The developers of this miracle were guided by the fact that motorists do not want to listen to the shrill squeaks of the safety system. They are not going to buckle up either.
In old cars, it was enough to put a coin in the lock and the sound was turned off. In modern cars, this trick doesn’t work any more.
As a result, a new solution was invented. These are plugs. By the way, many people wonder what else such plugs are called, intended for safety belts. Quite often they are called tongues. But this does not change the essence. Devices can be called by any name.
Structurally it is a very simple device. Modern belts have standard configurations, so it is not very difficult to make tongues. They differ only in appearance, giving motorists the right to choose.
Understanding and realizing why the motorist needs such a safety belt plug, it is necessary to really look at the situation. There is a legitimate question as to why one would take such a risk and why someone would want to bypass such a necessary safety component as a seatbelt. It is clear, what can follow after it.
Possible risks of plugs application
Not to throw out empty words, let’s pass from theory to practice. And more precisely to the bare facts, which will largely give answers to all questions about whether it is worth the risk of using plugs.
Imagine that the car is moving at a relatively low speed of 75-80 kilometers per hour. Quite normal, even in the city. At that, the car will fly into a wall of concrete or some pole. At this point will happen about the following:
- There’s a strong impact. At this speed, it is about 30 times the weight of the vehicle itself. It is quite natural, because there is a sudden stop of the car, which was previously moving at a decent speed. By inertia, the car moves forward, although the wall does not allow it to do so.
- The occupants, i.e. the driver and the passengers, are moving forward with the same inertia. Their speed is equal to the speed of the car before the collision. And this is conditional 80 kilometers per hour.
- In a fraction of a second (about 0,044 seconds) after the impact, the driver hits the steering wheel with his chest. Already in a moment, for 0,068 seconds, the body hits the dashboard. In this case, the force of the impact is equal to about 9 tons.
The man’s time is at a minimum. Contrary to the widespread recommendation about the necessity of regrouping and holding on to something firmly, there is simply not enough time. The person does not have time to do all this.
The chances of survival in such a situation are minimal. Even if the car is equipped with a whole set of airbags, it is unlikely to save. In the best case the driver and the passenger are severely injured, and it is a real miracle not to become disabled.
Yes, the consequences can be less serious if the speed is lower and the obstacle is not so hard, and the car will pass through it. But there are also the effects of head-on collision, when the consequences can be even more serious, than in case of collision with a stationary object.
How an airbag will change the situation
In the described example, it was said that belt was not fastened, but nothing is said about airbags. But they have a direct impact on safety.
It is considered, that you don’t have to buckle up, if there are airbags in a car. They are able to save you, and the belt is useless. It is wrong and widespread misconception. You should also simulate the situation.
The car crashes into an obstacle (a wall, a pole or another car), there is a plug in belt lock, but there are airbags. The device of airbag provides the use of a squib. Due to it the airbag shoots out very quickly and with great force. It takes fractions of a second. It is made in order to define the moment of impact with the steering wheel or the front panel and to soften the impact with the airbag.
But, as the person is not strapped in, it turns out that he crashes with inertia and at enormous speed into the fired airbag. As a result, it turns out to be a strong impact. And instead of saving, the cushion can only hurt in this situation. Only at low speed, the airbag shot against an unbuckled person can break his nose. At higher speeds, a collision like this can result in..:
- Cervical vertebrae fractured;
- puncturing of the rib cage;
- skull fracture.
That is why modern cars are equipped with sensors, which disconnect the airbag at speeds up to 20 km/h. And at speeds above 40 km / h signal appears on the need to buckle up. In parallel, as long as the belt is not in the lock, airbag will be deactivated. Having inserted the trick, the airbags are switched on, and at an impact, even at low speed, they open, provoking the above-mentioned consequences.
Only fastened belt together with airbags create necessary and proper protective effect.
The driver is risking a lot by using stoppers. The consequences can be fatal.
The penalty for plugs
If to study carefully the Administrative Offences Code, there is nothing specially about the plugs or decoys in the document. There is no such notion.
But there is a clause 12.6. It says that it is a violation to drive the vehicle not buckled up.
The article clearly states that the penalty will follow not only if the driver, but also the front and rear passengers are unbuckled.
Trying to deceive the inspector by throwing a bag over his shoulder or the belt itself, but not inserting it into the lock, you can not avoid a fine upon detection of such a violation. In all cases, the amount will be 1,000 rubles. It is also not allowed to fasten the belt behind the back.
It is hard to understand drivers who, in order not to buckle up, cheat the electronics of the car and bypass the security system. Someone says that they are uncomfortable, the belt presses or rubs. In this case, you should replace it or adjust it so that you feel comfortable.
Categorically refuse to use these tricks and buckle up always, no matter what speed and what road you are driving on. And a plug can be used when the locks are not in use for a long time. This will protect them from moisture, dust, and all kinds of debris getting inside.
About Using a Seat Belt Plug
Some car owners use seat belt plugs. Let’s look at what they are for and whether they are worth using. What are the dangers of driving with an unbuckled seat belt and what the consequences can be.
Some novice car owners try to look more experienced in the eyes of other drivers. It is considered that if a driver is not wearing a seat belt, he is so confident in his abilities, that he doesn’t even think that he may need the safety mechanism.
But, almost all modern cars are equipped with a system that detects that the car owner has not fastened his seat belt. Until he does so, he will have to listen to a nasty wailing squeak, and some car brands won’t even let you start the engine. Because of this, some people try the “grandfather’s method” and put a coin in the belt well. This will work with old cars, but new foreign cars can’t do it this way. Therefore, there are special plugs on sale.
What is a plug
Since the holes of the locks for the belts are standard, then there is no problem with the choice of a stub. This is the simplest product that just repeats the shape of the lock itself. At the end of the plug can be a logo of your favorite car brand, leather inserts and so on. Such accessories are made of plastic or metal. Speaking about the cost, the simplest plug can be bought for 50-100 rubles and the “smart” one for 350-500.
But, alas, as any recklessness, unfastened seat belts can become the cause of severe injuries and a more tragic outcome. Certainly, there are supporters of opinion that airbags break noses, and belts crush ribs. But when you really look at the facts, it’s obvious that some people don’t even stand a chance without them.
Is it worth the risk?
Let’s get straight to the facts. Let us imagine that the car at the speed of 80 km/h has crashed into the standing concrete wall. What happens in this situation:
- The force of the impact would be 30 times the weight of the car itself, so it is not surprising that the vehicle would stop abruptly.
- At this time, the driver and the passengers will begin to move forward by inertia with the same speed of 80 km/h.
- Already in 0.044 seconds after the collision, the driver’s sternum reaches the steering wheel, and by 0.068 seconds he hits the shield with the force equal to 9 tons.
We won’t describe what happens to all passengers in paints. All this happens in a fraction of a second and the person has no time to regroup or grab hold of anything. One thing is obvious, there is no chance to survive in such a situation. And the question was about a standing obstacle. What will happen if you hit a moving car with the same speed? It’s probably obvious to everyone.
In the example above, the passengers in the car were not wearing seat belts, but there were no airbags in the car either. If the airbags had been activated, they would have been of little help.
If there are airbags
You should realize, that airbag doesn`t just pop out of steering wheel, but literally shoots out (it has squib). If the driver’s body is not restrained by the seat belt at the moment of impact, he will meet the airbag at full speed. The impact can be so strong, that you will not get a broken nose. The airbag can easily break cervical vertebrae, pierce the sternum and even crush the skull.
Useful! The speed of airbag “shooting” at a steering wheel can be up to 300 km/h.
In this regard, many cars are equipped with systems that disable airbags if the car owner is driving at 20 km/h or less. Other cars have a warning system which starts to beep if the vehicle is driving faster than 40 km/h. This way it signals that it is necessary to buckle up, so that in case of need there is a possibility to activate the airbags.
But, if the driver “dashingly” cheated the system and installed dummy, then in this case the airbags will be triggered and may cause irreparable harm. Yes, if the impact force is high, the belt, which is responsible for keeping a person in the seat, can break a rib. But, this happens very rarely. In any case, it is better to have such an injury than a fatal one.
Thus the plug can only cause harm. If the car owner is not afraid of such an outcome, you should also think about the legality of the use of such accessories.
Is there a penalty for seatbelt plugging?
In order to answer this question, you should read the Administrative Code, more precisely article 12.6. It doesn’t say anything about stoppers, but based on the rules, it is obvious that the use of such devices can only lead to penalties.
So, if a car owner drives on the roadway and is not wearing a seat belt, he will have to pay 1,000 rubles for this violation. If the example of the driver is followed by the passengers, each “reckless driver” will have to pay another 500 rubles.
It concerns both front and back seat passengers.
If the driver just threw on the belt for visibility, but in fact it is not snapped in the lock, the penalties will be exactly the same. On that basis, everything is crystal clear. If the traffic policeman does not find the belt slipped and fastened, no plug will save you from the fine.
Useful! Some people fasten the seat belt behind the back. In this case, there will also be a fine.
Don’t ignore the safety systems of the car. They were created by experienced engineers not to make the ride excruciating, but to save your life in case of an emergency. And if there is already a plug in place, you should not immediately get rid of it. Such products are very convenient at cleaning the car or if the car stands idle for a long time. Plugs protect aperture from dust and dirt, therefore at least some, but use is from them.