if you're seatbelted,how can airbag decellerate you?

if you are wearing your seatbelt and crash, i am finding it hard to understand how driver and passenger airbags will improve survivability.
if properly seatbelted you should be held in your seat and would not
move far forward enough to contact the airbag anyway, so the airbag will not be able to decellerate you, right?
perhaps i am misunderstanding this, maybe someone who knows someone who had a deployment can elaborate?
thx
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beerismygas wrote:

SRS air bags really don't do much for anyone that heeds the Law of Motion for Inertia and BUCKLES UP EVERY SINGLE TIME. For the 15-20% of people that still DON'T buckle up while driving/riding in a motor vehicle, the SRS bags MAY save them from their own stupidity in the event of a collision, or it could kill/maim them some other way, even WITHOUT having a collision, thru accidental deployment.
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Sharon Cooke wrote:

don't the new f150s shut the bag off if the belt isn't in?
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Air bags can help in preventing neck injurys by keeping your head and neck from being thrown forward.
If you've seen any of the crash test videos you'll notice that even though the test dummy is fully buckled up the head and neck are thrown forward less with bag deployment.
Eric
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Plenty of videos showing what happens to a crash test dummy when they hit an airbag while wearing a seatbelt right here: http://AutoSmash.com
On Mar 31, 11:36 am, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

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SRS, air bags are designed to 'supplement' the protection provided by a properly fastened shoulder belt. If the shoulder portion of the combination belt that is not properly tensioned across the shoulder, it will allow slack in the seat belt, in a collision. After a collision occurs, a 'second' collision is when ones hips strike the belt and the upper torso strikes the deployed SRS. It is the purpose of each, along with the decoration effect of the crumble zones, to reduce the terminal speed of the 'third' collision when one organs strike one skeleton. If the terminal speed of those collision is too high even a properly belted passenger, inside of a vehicle of which the passenger compartment was not intruded upon, will die.
Fifteen, of my thirty years as an automotive design engineer, was involved with crumple zone and vehicle crashes. Pictures on our wall showed a Town Car that ran into a wall at 50 MPH. The car was flattened almost all the way to the firewall. The crumple zones did their job and the engine and tranny went under the body. Inside were five passengers, still properly belted and without a mark on their body, all of whom died instantly in the 'third' collision .
I never ride without my belt properly tightened and never will I drive or ride in a small vehicle just to save a relative few hundred dollars a year.
mike

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thanks for all your feedback and especially this last post which gives me new insight.
I just got an idea which could be used to replace airbags or suppliment them: air-seatbelts!
they would be seatbelts with an inflatable (via controlled explosive) section going through them. on impact the explosion would create high pressure gasses which would inflate the belt very quickly. the belt would have tiny holes to let the pressure out reducing the terminal speed even further.
what do you think?
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beerismygas wrote:

Mercedes does something similar now; when the SRS igniter is triggered, any comfort slack in the safety harness is removed, taking only a small fraction of a second to do so.
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That's not just a high end solution. My Honda Civic has those and so does my Ford Escape. Mercedes premiered the system in 1981, according to wikipedia.
The system tightens via explosive, and then releases at a prescribed rate to relieve the deceleration of the body.
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Seat belts keep your torso in place. Air bags can keep your head and face on your torso, and protect them if the steering wheel or other things start to attack you.
Some small aircraft manufacturers are starting to put airbag seatbelts in place, since there is no place for a regular one..
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beerismygas wrote:

An airbag might prevent you from snapping your neck :)
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On 31 Mar 2007 05:11:46 -0700, "beerismygas"

The bags help in a couple of ways to supplement the seatbelt. It reduces the forward whip of the head to reduce neck injuries. It distributes the force of the collision over the entire front of the body reducing the possibility of body injury along the contact path of the belts including heart damage or stoppage. They have also been known to ward off a barrage of broken bits and pieces of glass coming your way during the collision process.
As a side note, I saw where the driver and passenger of Corzine's vehicle were both belted in and pretty much walked away from that event while he was not belted and will be semi-recovering for years to come including the painful lifelong reminders of his failure to act responsibly for his own wellbeing - if he survives the next few days.
Given a choice of only one device, I want a 3 point or better belt around me. The air bag greatly improves protection. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on the most important safety system ever in a vehicle in the first place - the driver.
Lugnut
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