Short people problems: What to do if your seatbelt doesn’t fit

News 6 Traffic Safety Expert Steve Montiero explains your options

A viewer wanted to know, “Do you have any suggestions on what short people should do if their seatbelt does not fit properly?”

I’m not the tallest guy in the world so I can relate sometimes. Seatbelts are required for anyone in the front row of a vehicle at all times no matter the shape or size of the person.

Often, and it drives me absolutely crazy, I will see a driver or even a front passenger place their seatbelt chest strap underneath their arm to avoid it from rubbing on their neck. Now, I understand why you’re doing this but I don’t think a lot of people understand the consequences of doing this.

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The second that that chest strap of the seatbelt goes underneath the arm, the functionality of the seatbelt has gone away. That strap is to prevent you from flying forward ultimately hitting your face or causing some serious injuries. This would also be considered by law improper wear of your seatbelt so this could result in a traffic citation.

If you are one of the drivers that this affects then you may want to see if your seatbelt is adjustable over your shoulder. The seatbelt mechanism in some vehicles can either be lifted higher or lower to accommodate the driver size. If this doesn’t work there are several devices out there that could assist you in removing the chest strap from your neck area. What happens is that strap connects to the lower portion of the chest strap and brings it slightly lower to the waist strap. Making the point of contact a little lower to allow the chest strap to go over the shoulder more.

If you are reading this please make sure you check out the video attached to this article so you can see how I explain this further.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.