How long - and loud - is seat-belt reminder alarm in your car? Check criterion

  • Automotive safety experts recommend visual and audio alarms in case a seat belt is not attached to be for as long as 90 seconds, if not permanent.
The three-point seat belt is the most basic and yet most essential safety feature inside modern-day vehicles.
The three-point seat belt is the most basic and yet most essential safety feature inside modern-day vehicles.

Seat belts save life and there is not even an iota of doubt about the protection that this very important car cabin safety equipment provides to a driver and to all other passengers. And yet, and ever so often, one can forget to buckle up and be vulnerable to personal harm and injury in case of an unfortunate on-road incident. Not only is it against the law to be inside a moving vehicle without the seat belt firmly in place, it is outright risky. As such, every modern-day car now comes with an alarm feature that senses the weight on seats and issues an audible and visual warning which serves as a reminder.

The Indian government has made the three-point seat belt mandatory in all vehicles, including in the middle of the rear seat. The objective is to ensure a safer ride and minimize the extent of injury in the rare case of an accident. But while it is great to have seat belts and for warning sounds and signs to be issued in case these are ignored, there is also a need to make such warning signals more effective.

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Globally, it is recommended that the audio warning issued in case someone in a moving vehicle has not buckled up ought to be loud enough to rise above cabin and ambient noise. Automotive safety experts recommend warning sounds to persist for at least 90 seconds while some go further to say these sounds should either be permanent till a seat belt is attached or there should be an ignition cut-off in case of non-compliance.

It is also being recommended now that passengers at the back get a visual warning sign to remind them that they need to buckle up. There is a growing demand for sensors to be placed on the belt itself to ensure that the belt is not buckled from behind the back of a seat occupant - a common doing in India.

So while it may be quite distracting to hear the alarm sounds and get the visual warning in case a seat belt is not attached, it could also prove to be the one big factor that helps keep everyone inside a vehicle safe when on the move.

First Published Date: 04 Apr 2022, 09:27 AM IST

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