Seat belts are one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. Seatbelts help prevent you from moving around too much in the seat while you’re driving. This is especially true in the event of a collision where the seat belt will lock and keep you in the seat even if the car rolls.
Since automakers want you to stay safe, a seat belt warning light is used on every car made these days. This warning light reminds the driver and sometimes even the front passenger to put on their seatbelts when the car is moving.
What the seat belt not on warning light means
Inside the driver’s seat belt buckle is a switch that activates when the seat belt is fastened and unfastened. The car’s computer monitors the switch and can tell when the driver hasn’t clicked his or her seat belt.
When you start the engine, the seat belt light will usually flash for a few seconds even if the seat belt is already secured. Most vehicles also use a chime as an additional reminder to use the seat belt. If the seat belt is fastened, the light should stay off. If you don’t fasten the seat belt and start driving, most vehicles will start flashing and chiming at you until the seat belt is secured. Sometimes, the seatbelt switch can get stuck or broken and the light won’t turn off. Clean out the buckle or replace it, if necessary, and everything should return to normal.
Is it safe to drive with the seat belt not on warning light on?
While your car’s drivability won’t be affected, in the event of an accident, your safety is at a much greater risk. Besides risking a ticket from the police, seat belts are known to save lives so why take the risk?
If your seat belt light won’t turn off, our certified technicians can help you identify any problems.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the Seat Belt Not On Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.