Why Do Some Drivers Use Seatbelt Alarm Stoppers?

Beep, beep, beep, beep… Yes, that seatbelt alarm can be annoying whenever you set out to drive your car without buckling up. Fortunately, there’s a good way to turn it off – by buckling your seatbelt. However, some drivers would rather not “click in” and instead use a seatbelt alarm stopper to kill the warning chime. Buy why?

Seatbelt alarm stoppers are mainly used for auditory silence

A picture of a seatbelt alarm stopper being used in place of a seatbelt.
Seatbelt alarm stoppers like this bedazzled one are still available on Amazon. | Amazon

From what we can tell, there is no good reason for any driver to use a seatbelt alarm stopper in place of a seatbelt. The biggest news regarding this anti-seatbelt device was that Amazon pulled all seatbelt alarm blockers from its Indian site in light of a car crash that happened over the weekend. Reuters reported that Cyrus Mistry, an Indian business tycoon, wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and allegedly passed away due to using one of these devices.

Mistry isn’t the only driver to commute in such a fashion. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020, 51% were not wearing seatbelts – a 4% increase from 2019.” As we can see, not wearing a seatbelt is practically an epidemic here in the U.S., and these seatbelt alarm-stopping devices are not helping anything.

Buckling up saves lives, period

Woman In Car Seat Belt Safety.
Woman In Car Seat Belt Safety. | marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

While it is unfortunate to hear about the passing of Mistry and the thousands of passengers that failed to buckle up over the years, there’s something to remember by it. Simply put, buckling your seatbelt can save your life. In fact, seatbelts contributed to saving 14,955 lives in 2017 alone, but an estimated 2,549 more lives could have been saved if the occupants had just buckled up.

Also, just because the car you’re in has eight airbags and more driver assist features than you can count on one hand, they don’t replace the safety a seatbelt provides. When wearing a seatbelt, it’s important to ensure that the shoulder strap is over the shoulder and the lap belt is across your waist. Even if you are pregnant, you should wear a seatbelt despite the fact that it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t fit as well.

Seatbelt alarm stoppers are still prevalent in the U.S.

A belt buckle seen in a car.
A belt buckle is seen in a car. | Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images

Although Amazon in India pulled the seatbelt alarm stoppers off the website, they are still prevalent here in the U.S. It’s unfortunate, considering these products are promoting that drivers and passengers don’t need to buckle up. But they still exist nonetheless.

Fortunately, some new cars are promoting buckling up. The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado we recently tested had a “buckle to drive” feature that only allows the driver to shift out of “park” if their seatbelt is fastened. Also, plenty of cars on the market today show every seat position in the car and whether or not that occupant is buckled up. It’s a simple technology that could eventually save a few lives.

Of course, a seatbelt alarm stopper could put a wrench in the whole safety technology operation. But we’ll leave that to the thousands of drivers that choose to put their lives on the line every time they drive. Don’t be a statistic and buckle up every time – it’s the best way to get rid of that annoying chime.

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