A couple weeks ago, we kicked off the Concealed Carry in the Car series with What to Do with Your EDC in Your Vehicle. Now let’s chat about the seatbelt situation. In this post, I’ll be sharing some things to take into consideration, and what I do with my seatbelt and why while carrying appendix. Hopefully this will help you determine your own approach to the seatbelt situation while concealed carrying.
There seems to be two differing opinions on this topic and it’s a huge point of contention in the concealed carry community, especially for those who carry in the appendix position: to wear your seatbelt normally and not do anything different with the seatbelt to accommodate your concealed carry setup; or to tuck your seatbelt behind your firearm.
When determining what to do with your seatbelt while concealed carrying, remember this: we are far more likely to get into a car accident than have to use our firearm in a self defense situation. Wearing a seatbelt properly drastically increases the chances of survival in a serious accident. So, when we are in the car, shouldn’t we be prioritizing wearing a seatbelt properly to avoid serious injury or death? The answer is obvious to me, but let’s dig in a little bit more.
The lap belt is designed to be worn with the lap belt low across your lap. The lap belt’s effectiveness relies on it coming into contact with your hips, the strongest part of the body. In an accident, the lap belt spreads the force from the crash across your hips, which helps to prevent extensive injuries. If the lap belt is worn too high and does not come into contact with your hips, not only does it drastically reduce the effectiveness of the lap belt but it can also cause serious internal injuries.
The shoulder strap is designed to be worn diagonally across your chest and over one shoulder. When worn properly, it also helps spread out the force from the crash, in conjunction with the lap belt. Most importantly, it helps to keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and deploying airbags. If the shoulder strap is touching your neck, underneath your armpit, or behind your back, it will not be able to work effectively and can cause you greater injury.
Continue reading, Concealed Carry in the Car: The Seatbelt Situation by Pinot & Pistols here.