Thursday, July 05, 2012

Accident, It's Your Safety, It's Your Money
Been meaning to post about this for sometime now. I'll keep it brief.

When you are involved in an accident hard enough that it causes your seat belts to lock so you don't smack the windshield or dash, you need to be sure the insurance pays to have the seat belt buckle latch replaced. You only need have the ones replaced that were in use by yourself or a passenger. Tons of force are applied to that buckle latch during an accident and so the integrity of those components are now jeopardised. After my head on collision and receiving my truck back after repairs, a year later the latching system came apart. I had noticed it had become less able to lock in as time went by. Then it began to be hard to unbuckle until finally the latch parts just gave up. The stresses from the accident had weakened the seat belt latch/buckle.

Next, in the same collision both my clutch and brake pedals had been depressed by me during the wreck and were not able to return to their undepressed normal positions. Getting the truck back after repairs I drove it for some time as normal, hauling things, pulling trailers, pulling boats etc. It wasn't until I took it in to have my brakes pads and shoes checked because inspection time was coming up that I found out my rear brakes still had almost all the life left in them while the front were almost to the rivets. Why? Because in the accident the rear wheel brake cylinders had been jammed and damaged. They had returned to the open position and froze there. I had been driving and hauling all this time with no rear brakes. A tell tale sign was when I'd use the emergency brake, sometimes it would not release and I'd have to rock the truck back and forth with the clutch to get the rear wheels to unseize.

So if you are in an accident that is more than just a bump up, make sure to have the brake system overhauled and those seatbelt latches replaced. Don't let them tell you the belts latches are fine, demand they replace them and do not except the car until they are.  

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