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Is there any safety reason NOT to drive with an empty passenger seat buckled up?


Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
Westchester, NY
I get very irritated by rattles when I'm driving and I find, for some reason, the passenger seat belt buckle rattles quite a bit when unfastened. If I fasten it, problem solved.

Is there any reason to not drive around with the passenger seat empty, but the seatbelt buckled?


Feb 12, 2021
Yes. The ghost of the man you killed on that dark road when no one else was around so many years ago rides silently with you everywhere you go, and he finds it less comfortable with the seatbelt buckled.


Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
SF Bay Area
I believe in modern cars the airbags sometimes adjust their deployment speed based whether the passenger is buckled in or not. But the same cars also would have an occupancy sensor. Now would having the seat buckled force the car to fire the airbag when it otherwise wouldn't? I think this is de minimis consideration but I putting it out there as a possibility.

Snow Drift

[Off-Road Assist] Activated
Feb 10, 2016
Long Island
Are you saying the rattle stops when it’s plugged in?
I find that if the belt is twisted the buckle gets stuck between the seat and pillar. This twisting happens every time my wife gets out of the car. Just untwist the buckle and it should stop. You can also check the position of the passenger seat vs the pillar. Move it back or forth to prevent an untwisted buckle from hitting the pillar. Both of theses fixed the issue for me. The rear seats buckles can also rattle if not laid properly.

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