According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the US among people ages 5-34. About 6,400 adults are injured in motor vehicle accidents every day. Still, nearly 15% of us don’t buckle up for every trip we take in our cars.
Without a doubt, one of the most effective ways to reduce injury and save lives in vehicular accidents is by wearing a seat belt. Seat belt material, also called webbing, is usually made from polyester. The polyester fibers are uniquely woven so that they stretch when pulled which helps absorb energy from a crash, making the impact less severe for the occupant.
So, just how strong are seat belts? Check out this video we performed in our Applications Lab. This seat belt material broke at roughly 30 kN; that’s about 6,750 lbf ... enough to give me peace of mind on my ride home today!