Created By: packardcaribien on June 27, 2011 Last Edited By: packardcaribien on June 29, 2011

Wear Your Seatbelt

When everybody wears seatbelts, even in cars that should not have them.

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Seen It a Million Times but desperately Needs More Examples. Rolling Updates, if I get any comments.

"Click It or Ticket"
--Eagleland State Police Traffic Safety

While Real Life laws do require people to wear seatbelts, media tends to exaggerate this importance. Everyone in a show will always buckle up, and on the occasion that the don't, a quick injury or at least a convenient police unit. This trope can be taken to silly extremes where characters are shown buckled into cars that should not even have seat belts, or at least the type people expect. Seat belts are not even required for cars made in certain countries, and older cars have more rudimentary belts or, more likely, none at all.


Newspaper Comics

Western Animation
  • Hey Arnold! has modern belts in a 1947 Packard, as well as any other car interiors in the show.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • June 27, 2011
    Needs a better picture. There's no way of telling that car's not supposed to have seatbeats without context.
  • June 27, 2011
    And Arnold isn't belted.
  • June 28, 2011
    Unknown Troper
    I have yet to find a better picture. Sorry.

    Arnold IS belted, he has a lap belt on - since it's impossible for a center seat to have over the shoulder belts. Not sure about the boarders in the back, though.

  • June 28, 2011
    You haven't seen many cars have you? It is quite possible to put a full seatbelt for everybody.
  • June 28, 2011
    It is possible to add seatbelts to any car.

    What might be a trope is when someone in, say, 1930 (or to use your example, 1947 driving a Packard), is driving a car with them, with no explanation. Note that if they were a Crazy Prepared person back in those days, perhaps a pilot, or a race car driver, or moonshine runner, they might have added them, but that would be really unusual.

    A seatbelt with no explanation would be more "Anachronistic Seatbelt" then "Wear Your Seatbelt".

    As a side note, my mother was driving her car when I was a child and the car only came with lap belts. When she accidentally drove into a ditch, her front teeth smacked the steering wheel, breaking them. After that her cars always had the optional (at the time) shoulder harnesses.
  • June 29, 2011
    ^^^He looks/looked to me like he's just wearing a pants belt, not a seatbelt-type belt.
  • June 29, 2011
    I'm not sure what's the issue with the Garfield comic. Every time I've flown, there were seat belts in the plane. There are even lights that indicate when you should keep your seat belt fastened.

    And I've also seen old cars that were retrofitted with seat belts long after their manufacture.
  • June 29, 2011
    The Magic School Bus had seat belts, though I've never seen a seat belt on ANY school bus I've ridden on... or any bus for that matter. Granted, maybe the short bus is different.

    Also, this would usually be played for laughs if the discretion is glaringly obvious.
  • June 29, 2011
    In several episodes of Dora The Explorer, IIRC, there are seatbelts in a boat, as well as lifejackets.
  • June 29, 2011
    Some school buses have seat belts, but they are designed not to normally need them (the high, padded seats, very heavy construction, etc.) Generally speaking, the laws of physics are also usually on the school bus's side as they are much bigger and heavier than most things they are likely to run into on a typical bus route.

    Buses designed for long-distance travel, such as Greyhound buses, will more often come equipped with seatbelts, presumably because high-speed travel on highways with other large vehicles nearby is a given rather than a possibility.

    Might this also apply to settings or shows where seatbelts are unusual, but specifically featured in some place? As an example, on Babylon 5, most races don't wear safety harnesses aboard their starships, with the exception of the Narn and the Humans, in this case because they lack Artificial Gravity technology, and as such need to be secured in place to keep from drifting around.