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So my 5 year old is sitting in the 3 row drivers side one summer on our way to drop our other kids off at camp in West Virginia. We got to the camp location, I left the car and my youngest and my husband were still getting out of the car while I went into the building with my other 2 to get them situated. About 5 minutes later my husband comes running in saying he needs a knife to cut my youngest out of his seat belt. I ran outside to find my son being strangled around his waste of the seat belt!! The belt was not buckled at this point but he had wrapped it round his body in trying to get it from around him to leave the car, he went the wrong way and found it wrapped around him twice. The problem was that the seat belt was now so tight (about 12 inches around his waste) and the seat belt would not release if just kept getting tighter and tighter. My husband tried everything to get the belt to release but it just would not. We tried lifting him up to see if that would take the pressure off but it just kept getting tighter and tighter and my son is in tears and can hardly breath and things just seemed hopeless. My husband came out with a knife and we were able to cut the actual seat belt to release him. Very scary, the device just would not release with all the trying that we tried. If he were in the car by himself he would have died.
- Judi F.,
Virginia Beach, VA, US
I wish I had a photo of this one. My eight ear old granddaughter became tangled in the rear driver's side seat belt. She was actually lifted up against the side of the car and the belt was tightening as she struggled. It had pulled tight under her ribcage. This happened fast...
I thought there must be a release somewhere, so I called OnStar and they got someone from GMC on the line to help.
So... My granddaughter's screaming and gasping and I'm trying to stop the belt from getting any tighter, and I'm hearing "Sorry, sorry, sorry..." from the guy on the phone.
I live in the woods and carry a folding saw in my car just in case... I had another grandchild get the saw and I cut through the belt. The eight year old literally dropped back down to the seat, she was that high.
I continued yelling at the GMC guy and he continued apologizing. I told him that GMC was going to replace the belt for nothing, and he agreed. I was very upset and, within ten minutes, fell and shattered my wrist.
When a friend helped me get the car in to get fixed, I was told this sort of thing happens and I was given a lecture on teaching my grandkids the proper use of a seat belt.
I told them that, if they know this sort of thing happens, maybe they should redesign the way the belt functions. It definitely shouldn't keep cinching up after it "locks" itself into position. At the very least, there should be an emergency release somewhere... But that probably wouldn't work right either...
- maggie r.,
Bagley, MN, US