What Are the Parts of a Seat Belt?

by Colby Stream

Seat belts are more than just a belt and latch. Many different parts compose a system designed to keep you in your seat and in the vehicle, when it is crucial.

Latch

The only piece of seat-belt equipment to your right (if you're in the driver seat), this doohickey usually is fastened to the floor and locks in the rest of the seat belt, keeping you in place in the event of a collision.

Latch plate

The part that snaps into the latch. It can slide up and down the belt, adjusting to a position most comfortable for you.

Pretensioner

This system draws back the seat belt to keep it firm while you're driving. It also locks during a collision to keep you in position.

Height adjuster

Stationed over your left shoulder where the belt attaches to the door pillar, this part allows you to move the highest part of the belt up or down. The adjuster is essentially a comfort feature--it alleviates chafing of the neck of drivers who are taller or shorter than a driver of average height. According to “Dare to Repair Your Car,” not every vehicle has an adjuster. The ad

Extender

This extra piece of equipment (not included in your car; must be bought separately) allows you to create more room if the seat belt is too small to fit around your torso and waist and still latch.

About the Author

Colby Stream has been a writer since 2007. His work has appeared in "The Arbiter," the student newspaper of Boise State University, as well as various websites. Stream graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication as a presidential civic leadership scholar.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera seat belt receptacle image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com