How I Got My Wife to Use a Seat Belt (Jun, 1960)

The title of this article should be: “How Mr. Pavlov got his wife to buckle up: a lesson for the auto-industry.”

How I Got My Wife to Use a Seat Belt

FOR 10 years I have used safety belts in my car. But each time we went for a ride I have had to tell my wife to fasten her belt. She is a most stubborn person and uses all kinds of excuses for not doing so.

I have finally won. These drawings show how. The system tells her to put the belt on. It works like magic every time. It saves arguments. The little reminder consists of a light, the words “Safety Belt,” a buzzer, and two cunningly wired snap switches.

When my wife gets into the front seat beside me, her weight trips a normally open snap switch under the seat. Two things happen: First a doorbell buzzer begins sounding behind the dash, attracting my wife’s attention toward it. Second, in the opening where a clock usually is mounted, the words “Safety Belt” are illuminated by a lamp behind the dash.

The second snap switch, normally closed, is mounted under one strap of the belt so that it is opened by the pressure of pulling the belt across the waist. This breaks the circuit, stopping the buzzer and turning off the lamp. As long as my wife sits in the seat, she’d better have the belt on correctly or the buzzer will let her know. [Editor's note: An optional cut-out switch is shown in the drawing for those who might like one.]

Now, when we start out, she races me to fasten the belt before I can use the ignition key and turn on the circuit. Seems she doesn’t like to hear the buzz. The only way to stop the buzz is to get out of the seat or turn off the ignition— or put on the belt. If she wants to go for a ride that leaves her little choice.

— Wes Jayne, Woodhaven, N.Y.

2 comments
  1. nlpnt says: April 30, 20086:31 am

    In the ’80s my dad had a glass shop and would pick me up from school in all sorts of vehicles he’d worked on; one time there was a mid-70s BMW 5-series that, instead of the usual “Fasten Belts” light, had a luminous sign stuck in a semi-prominent spot on the dash. A really cheap workaround of Federal requirements for what was an expensive car in its’ day.

  2. use my wife says: July 7, 20081:01 am

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