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If you've ever lived in a wintery climate, you may have noticed something strange: no, not the perilously enticing sparkle of cold metal in the sunlight or the way your warm breath suddenly becomes visible in the frigid air, but the way your seatbelt seems increasingly reluctant to retract as the temperature drops. Acura, however, has found the problem more serious than a minor inconvenience, and is recalling some 43,000 vehicles across the United States to address the issue.

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General Motors might be in the middle of a recall crisis, but safety advancements for new cars is still top of mind. In coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Click It or Ticket campaign, the automaker is announcing a new, optional Belt Assurance System on some of its fleet models for later this year.

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Seat belts and alcohol test would be required to start car

The government is speeding up research on safety systems that automatically prevent drivers from operating their cars if they are drunk or aren't properly buckled in.

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As awful as it is hearing about a child that was killed in a car crash, it's even worse to hear that many of these deaths were likely preventable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a study of vehicle crashes from 2011 that found that more than a third of kids (under the age of 13) who were killed in these crashes were not wearing seat belts or strapped into a car seat. Furthermore, another study from General Motors shows that a quarter of parents and caregivers drive ar

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If necessity is the mother of ingenuity, law enforcement must be the doting father. Drivers in China have taken to circumventing local seatbelt laws by purchasing and wearing special T-shirts. The shirts feature a graphic with a stripe that runs from shoulder to hip, creating the illusion that the driver is wearing his or her harness while seated. Police have reportedly begun cracking down on drivers for not wearing their belts after a rash of collisions resulted in occupants jettisoned from the

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We imagine things get hectic pretty quickly if you happen to take a deep plunge while still in your car. As the water rushes in, things like patience and good sense can rush out, so doing something as reflexive and simple as getting out of your seatbelt can waste time you don't really have. If you're worried about ending up underwater in your car, then you'll want to check out the Escape Belt from Dutch company Fijen.

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A bill approved by both houses of Congress that doubles fines on vehicles not recalled in a timely fashion also weighs-in on several additional safety measures. What was once a $17-million penalty has now jumped to $35 million. In spite of these fines, The Detroit News reports that many new safety requirements were left out of the bill. One of the few requirements to make it through is the mandate for rear seat belt buckle chime systems – much like the alert system that is currently in t

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a safety recall of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, but this campaign comes with a twist. NHTSA announced on its website that Sonata Hybrid models produced between December 2, 2010 and March 7, 2012 are being recalled due to a seatbelt issue. NHTSA announced that the rear center belt, which incorporates a release mechanism that detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at the lower anchor point, doesn't meet safety standards.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a safety recall of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, but this campaign comes with a twist. NHTSA announced on its website that Sonata Hybrid models produced between December 2, 2010 and March 7, 2012 are being recalled due to a seatbelt issue. NHTSA announced that the rear center belt, which incorporates a release mechanism that detaches both the lap and shoulder portion at the lower anchor point, doesn't meet safety standards.

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Mercedes-Benz seat belts already have a feature that adjusts the tension of the belt after it's buckled, using motors in the B- and C-pillars. The boffins in Stuttgart have improved on that by turning to their attentions to the buckle, giving it two new functions. When you enter the vehicle, the buckle extends by 70 mmm (2.75 inches) and it illuminates to help you locate it and insert the tongue. Once the seat belt has been fastened, it retracts again to provide the proper tension around the tho

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From the 'We Almost Missed It'' file comes word Kansas man has set about testing his state's new seatbelt law. Kansas has just joined the handful of other states that have moved not wearing a seatbelt while driving up to a primary offense, meaning that law enforcement officers can pull over and cite offenders simply for failing to buckle up. According to KWCH CBS 12, Paul Weigand says that he wants to challenge the law because he believes wearing his seatbelt should be up to him. Since the law s

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According to the Center for Disease Control, seatbelt use among American adults is at an all-time high. In a recent study, 85 percent of those surveyed said that they wear their seatbelts regularly. That number is up from just 11 percent in 1982, though the CDC points out that at least one in every seven adults still don't wear their seatbelts on the road. That's despite evidence that points to automotive accidents as the number one cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 5 to 34.

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2011 Ford Explorer, is that you? – Click above to watch the video after the break

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The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on whether or not current federal regulations protect automakers from being sued under state product liability laws. According to The Wall Street Journal, justices will examine a California lawsuit that claims that Mazda should be held responsible for the death of a passenger in a 1993 MPV minivan. The passenger was riding in the middle seat, wearing a lap belt, when an accident occurred. The belt caused serious internal injuries that eventually led to death

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Now it's just New Hampshire. For decades, any effort in Georgia to require universal seatbelt use couldn't get passed – such matters would just get stuck in the throat of the House by extra-regulation-resistant rural lawmakers. The consistent rejection kept pickup truck driving adults from being legally required to buckle up, an exemption that drove safety advocates up the wall.

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Embrace Life PSA – click above to watch the video

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Volvo's three-point seat belt - Click above to watch the video after the break

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Drivers and front-seat passengers in Florida may be cited for not wearing seat belts when a new law takes effect on June 30. Known as a "primary" seat belt law, the law allows enforcement officers to pull vehicles over solely for a belt violation (a "secondary" seat belt law requires another infraction to take place before a ticket may be issued). Florida is only the 28th state to enact a primary seat belt law, while the remainder have secondary laws and New Hampshire has no seatbelt law whatsoe

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Two new JDM Toyota safety technologies are likely to arrive on future Lexus models in the United States. The first is a system that uses a millimeter-wave radar to detect objects in the vehicle's path. When obstructions are noted, the driver is alerted by an indicator or a sound. If the pending collision is imminent, a pre-crash system activates the brakes, removes slack from the seats belts and then deploys the airbags.

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